In 2005, I received an album entitled Field Day made by former Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips. It contained music performed on acoustic instruments only, such as an English bazouki and a twelve-string Guild acoustic guitar. This double album was completely instrumental and it gave me a lot of comfort and calmness in a troublesome period in my life concerning my health. At that time, I had problems listening to the regular prog stuff. Those memories returned when I listened to Cathedral Of Dreams made by Nick Fletcher.
Let me first introduce Mr. Fletcher. He was born in Sheffield (UK) in 1960 and started to play guitar at the age of twelve, influenced by guitar players like Steve Hackett, Jan Akkerman and Steve Howe. Around 1980, he met Dave Bainbridge and together they played in several bands. Later on, Dave became one of the founding members of Iona. In 2007, the two came across again and decided to record an album at the beautiful St. Luke’s church in the small village of Holton Le Moor in the heart of rural Lincolnshire. This church is well-known because of its fine acoustic qualities. The improvised music featured on Cathedral Of Dreams is mostly performed by Nick on his classical guitar.
On the first eleven tracks, we hear a wide range of influences from the Baroque era to Iberian, Argentine and Brazilian dance forms. Fletcher also used rhythms from Eastern Europe and from the traditional music of the Hebredian Isles. On the last four tracks, three musicians helped Nick to create a piece of music entitled Iberian Fantasy For Guitar And Orchestra. Besides Nick, we hear Dave Bainbridge on keyboards, Andrea Alonso on flute and Gabriel Alonso on timpani and cymbals. It is obvious, that those four pieces are more adventurous than the other ones. Even the music is from time to time a bit faster. Throughout the album, you discover that Nick’s gifted guitar playing might attract many people who like progressive rock music. If you enjoy the acoustic albums made by Steve Hackett, Steve Howe, Anthony Phillips and Gordon Giltrap than you will probably like this album. Cathedral Of Dreams gave me comfort and calmness just like Field Day did four years ago.
*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Also see Interview with Dave Bainbridge about this album
Where to buy?
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