Reviewed by Adrian Cherrill
Colin Mawby's output over the years has included Masses, children's operas, choir settings and plenty of organ music, and he has now turned his attention to improvisation. Playing on a Viscount Prestige organ at Kevin Mayhew's studio in Suffolk, he attempts to give us well over an hour of meditational music for, as is suggested on the inlay card, prayer and quiet times. But something doesn't quite work. Despite being sympathetically recorded, the organ sounds just too electronic, when perhaps a church organ may have given a much more rounded impact. There is no change in the pace or feel at any time, and despite showing much dexterity and ability, the music rarely gets out of a minor key and after 30 minutes or so it begins to feel repetitive, even if what is being played actually isn't. Although recorded as one track, the piece has been divided at roughly 10 minute intervals, but this is little help really because the music doesn't stop and it is difficult to identify any one section from another. It would have been better to start with a few loose themes and improvise separate pieces around them, so the listener could choose a relevant piece to suit the occasion. All in all it starts well but just goes on for far too long to be effective in its intentions.
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