Wall Matthews & Rusty Clark | Air Over Water

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Classical: Contemporary New Age: Neo-Classical Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Air Over Water

by Wall Matthews & Rusty Clark

Imagistic instrumental duets for guitar and violin combine Impressionism and Minimalism to create a haunting lyricism with a strong rhythmic flow.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. The Two Snails Who Went To the Funeral of A Dead Leaf
Rusty Clark
2:51 $0.99
clip
2. Gypsies
Wall Matthews & Rusty Clark
4:16 $0.99
clip
3. Sleazy Sue
Wall Matthews & Rusty Clark
4:27 $0.99
clip
4. The Village
Wall Matthews & Rusty Clark
4:07 $0.99
clip
5. Alabama Sketches
Wall Matthews & Rusty Clark
5:35 $0.99
clip
6. The Tightrope Walker
Wall Matthews & Rusty Clark
3:40 $0.99
clip
7. The Juggler
Wall Matthews & Rusty Clark
2:51 $0.99
clip
8. The Clowns
Wall Matthews & Rusty Clark
3:46 $0.99
clip
9. The Blue Heart
Wall Matthews
4:08 $0.99
clip
10. The Watering Hole
Wall Matthews & Rusty Clark
8:18 $0.99
clip
11. Midsummer Dream Music
Wall Matthews & Rusty Clark
8:29 $0.99
clip
12. Restless
Wall Matthews
4:21 $0.99
clip
13. Jake And The River Monkey
Wall Matthews & Rusty Clark
4:29 $0.99
clip
14. Little Piece
Wall Matthews
2:44 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Before the Internet made it possible for almost anyone to get their music almost anywhere,
there were limited options for musicians not working in the mainstream. In the 1980s, college
radio and NPR stations were important outlets for a new wave of acoustic music. The
phenomenal success of Windham Hill began with public radio listeners. But that success
spawned a mad rush of musicians of very different skill levels. The market flooded with solo
acoustic music. A number of genuinely gifted musicians were lost in the crowd. Matthews was
luckier than most – his music and his playing stood out, and gained exposure on public radio,
including my NPR program New Sounds. But he too seemed to disappear from the scene for a
while, and for many listeners, hearing this collection will seem, as it did to me, like an
unexpected audio postcard from a long-lost friend.
In fact, Wall has not gone anywhere except back to work. CDs were released in the 90s and
the early 00s. His early work with the Entourage Music and Theater Ensemble was reissued by
Smithsonian Folkways – reminding us just how ahead of its time that evocative music was.
Today we might call it “ambient,” but in the 1970s, there was no easy way to describe what
Wall Matthews, violinist Rusty Clark, and the rest of the ensemble were up to. Those CD
reissues of the early Entourage work led directly to Air Over Water. The influential British
remix producer and DJ, known as Four Tet, sampled one of those recordings, Neptune Rising,
from The Neptune Collection for She Moves She on Rounds, leading Wall to wonder who else
might be interested in the work he and Rusty had done.
This album documents the duo work Matthews and Clark did over a period of years, until
Rusty’s untimely death in 1986. It is a bittersweet collection. These recordings reveal that
Clark was a distinctive violinist, and Air Over Water wastes no time in letting us know it. The
opening track, curiously titled “The Two Snails Who Went To The Funeral Of A Dead Leaf,”
is a violin solo that is both virtuosic and eclectic, sounding at times like a movement from a
Bach Partita but with passing Eastern-inflected slurs, alternating bowed and pizzicato effects,
double stops, and more. Matthews and Clark often use a standard ABA song form in these
instrumental works, but they rarely leave it alone. “Sleazy Sue” plays with form and content;
Clark switches to viola, and Matthews’ guitar work offers echoes of folk and blues, but with
some unusual note bending. You’d expect the guitar to take an accompanying role here, but in
fact the opposite seems to be the case. Surprises dot the aural landscape here: in “The Village”
Matthews plays a bit of recorder; in “Midsummer Dream Music” additional bowed strings
build toward a restrained but urgent climax; and “The Blue Heart” uses neither strings nor
guitar but just a solo piano, evoking Ravel without ever sounding like French Impressionism.
There’s a lot to like here. Any of these pieces could serve as justification for the long-delayed
release of these old tapes. But there’s another reason, and Wall Matthews puts it quite simply:
“Rusty was my closest friend; I miss him and think about him everyday.” Introducing his old
friend to the rest of us seems a fitting tribute.
JOHN SCHAEFER WNYC RADIO, NY
“…the music is experienced as accompaniment, for a theatre work, a film, for driving,
for walking in nature, or for sitting in quiet contemplation. The pieces move within
an emotional state rather than through many states…. one meets the human spirit
behind the music again and again”… D.A. SONNEBORN, Co Author ,"Planet Drum"

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