Reviewed by Steven Whitehead
Jason Carter's musical depth and extraordinary style have left an indelible impact around the globe. Touring with his inimitable fusion of world music and classical styles, he has performed in almost 100 countries and travelled over a million miles - making music in such diverse locations as Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, North Korea and the Gulf States. Garnering a reputation as an ambassador for peace and intercultural dialogue by using music to open doors for communication, Jason has received honours and awards for these efforts and also support from UNESCO, The United Nations and the British Council. 'Seeking The Divine' is Carter's 18th release. It was recorded in a vineyard in the south of France and mixed in a studio in Nimes, near Montpellier, and follows what the instrumentalist describes as a "renewal of faith" with the album being "pretty much a diary of events with regards to that process." He said, "The harp guitar works so well in churches acoustically speaking and I will be playing a new arrangement of Arvo Pärt's 'Fratres', plus other new pieces." The harp guitar is indeed an unusual hybrid, looking not unlike the double-necked guitars sometimes used by players such as Jimmy Page. However Carter's instrument is acoustic and sounds more like a classical guitar with an acoustic bass. The melody is picked and the "harp" adds a mellow reverb under it. I found it a relaxing listen and those that appreciate quiet, meditational music in the background while they read or pray will find this helpful. Those who take an interest in world music and enjoy unusual instruments should also check out this artist. While not as off the wall as, say Washington Phillips' dulceola, it is - to my ears at least - unique. Carter plays with passion and flair and is, by many accounts, an excellent live performer where he combines his musical skills with a fund or anecdotes that make him a modern evangelistic troubadour.
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