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Martin Green: Crows' Bones (Reveal)

The best, and most successful, track on this album under the name of the accordianist and fancy electronics man from award-winning trio Lau, may be the one with the least Martin Green on it. The reading of I Saw The Dead, written by young Irishman Conor O'Brien, who trades as Villagers, is genuinely spooky, beautifully recorded and features wonderful singing from Becky Unthank and Shetlander Inge Thomson. On an album of music that is exploring our relationship with ghosts, and mostly built around traditional material, it is proof that contemporary songwriting can still have something profound and moving to say on the subject.

This recording is the culmination of a project mentored by Opera North, on which Green worked with Unthank, Thomson and nyckelharpa player Niklas Roswall (and later guitarist Adrian Utley), and his notes make clear that it was always collaborative.

There is certainly an explorative feel to much of the music, taking a less travelled sonic road away from the tunes and poetry that provide the starting points, whether in improvisation, studio inventiveness, or in radical instrumentation, including the single-cello-string "Log" instrument invented by Green, made by Pathhead instrument maker Nigel Richard and played by Thomson.

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