Written by Lauren Rosier
In Mark Vickness’s Interconnected, the artist looks to music creation as a “solemn opportunity to the interconnectedness of all humanity, and of all things, through the universal language of music.”
This record comes three years after he released his debut album, Places. Interconnected features four new, modern solo fingerstyle compositions and four original tracks played with his ensemble, also called Interconnected. With Mark on acoustic guitar, they also have two-time Grammy-winning violinist Mads Tolling, cellist Joseph Hebert, Dan Feiszli on upright/electric bass, and Ty Burhoe on the tabla virtuoso. Of the ensemble, their résumés include live and recorded work with Stanley Clarke, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Walter Becker, Jon Anderson, Chick Corea, and more.
The haunting track, “Interwoven,” not only introduces listeners to Vickness but to the acoustic ensemble as well. The song opens with the gentle strumming of the guitar, paired with layers of strings, featuring the violin, and cello.
The listener is invited to enjoy the landscape drawn by the sweet, alluring layers of interlacing strings from the violin and cello, and guitar. The various instruments heard on this track are ‘interconnected’ and ‘interwoven’ together like a blending of a community. It’s a very beautiful song being able to hear Vickness‘s fingerstyle on the guitar through the album. It’s incredible. The talent and passion he has for creating music is just mind-blowing.
But then, about a minute and a half into the track, it takes a menacing turn. The strings are urgent. The song really changes temperament and changes its tone through the 5:30 run time. I always stress how important the opening track is for music, you want to open your record with a bang, and really impress your listener.
“Grey Skye” opens with this melancholy, haunting sadness. The finger-style is incredible, his ability to create such finite sound is just breathtaking.
The solo pieces were extremely immersive and pulled me into the song and grabbed my attention until the song was finished. The recordings themselves are very clear; very pristine and well-done.
I really enjoyed “Hot Apple Stuff,” as the tempo was more upbeat than the other tracks I listened to on the album. The strings were pristine and absolutely breathtaking.
On the track, “6 in 7,” you can hear almost every sound. The vibrant textures of the wood from the guitar, the fingernails on the strings, the hand taps, and the slight rings from the frets.
“Bodega Blue” was kind of cool because it started out with a real, cool groovy beat from the acoustic guitars. It almost had an acoustic blues vibe to it.
The track “For Every Child,” was written by any child that was affected by childhood sexual abuse just as he was, while “One Day Over A Thousand” is “is dedicated to all those who lost their lives to Covid-19, and to my dear friend Holli Ross, who died while this piece was being written.”
Overall, I was very impressed by the musicianship on this record. The recordings are pristine, you can hear the instruments so incredibly clear, and it’s just a fantastic overall instrumental album.
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