Interconnected by Mark VicknessRelease date: September 15, 2020
One of the problems many musicians that venture into the minefield called progressive music is trying to keep their instrumental prowess in check and channel it solely into creating some creative, coherent music and not just a series of virtuosic solos or constant tempo changes just for their own sake.
When you put together a group of musicians that all have a pedigree of excellent instrumental abilities such a danger always looms large. It is possible that this danger was on the mind of composer/fingerstyle guitarist Mark Vickness when he brought along two-time Grammy-winning violinist, Mads Tolling, cellist Joseph Hebert, Dan Feiszli on upright and electric bass, and tabla virtuoso, Ty Burhoe for his second album release Interconnected.
In a way that is reflected in his own words about this album: “This ensemble is comprised of musicians who are capable of a wide range of styles from different cultures and different eras. I worked hard to write this music with interconnectedness in mind, within each piece individually and in the relationships between the pieces themselves.”
Big words, unless you make sure that you run a tight musical ship that is geared to let the music and compositions shine, whereas the instrumental capabilities are there just to confirm that intention. Luckily, that is exactly what Vickness is able to do on Interconnected, combining a wide range of elements drawn from classical music, rock, and jazz, without at any moment resorting to any flashy soloing. Take ‘Grey Skye’ for example. Vickness makes his guitar playing insist on the melody and serves its purpose, with Burhoe’s tabla just underpinning it at moments.
This approach is dominant throughout the Interconnected. Vickness and other musicians try to show that there are so many points where different musical styles and concepts overlap and have something in common. Luckily for all, they are able to prove their point with ease.