Reviewed by Tom Lennie
Nick is the well known classical guitarist who has had a number of solo recordings over the years, as well as having featured on Dave Bainbridge's 'Songs For Luca 2' and a few 'Celtic Expressions' discs. Most of his recorded output has been in the form of gentle but intricate guitar arrangements of well known hymns and worship songs. 'Cathedral Of Dreams' is very different in that it comprises his first recording of self-composed tunes. Much of the material for it was recorded in the acoustic setting of St Luke's Church in Lincolnshire, where, along with aforementioned Bainbridge, they captured some tunes on tape, incorporating a fair amount of improvisation. They liked what they heard - thus resulting in this collection of 11 tracks, set on disc with minimal editorial interference. Influences range from the Baroque era to Argentinean and Brazilian dance forms, as well as rhythms from Eastern Europe and traditional music from the Hebridean Isles! With enchanting titles, like "Song Of The Orphan", "Cornucopia", "Veil Of Tears" and the title track, these tunes show off Fletcher's deft string skills to wonderful effect, creating a peaceful, meditative and spiritual atmosphere. Nick states that his compositions emanate from a place of "spontaneous creativity. . . So the pre-composed and spontaneously improvised material on this CD blend well as the same joy of spontaneous creativity permeates the whole." Four further pieces make up 'Iberian Fantasy', a suite for guitar and orchestra co-written with Bainbridge. These interesting, diverse arrangements commence with the dramatic opening to "Duende", which, like the further three movements, include aid from keyboards, flute and percussion. A striking performance and a highly creative, memorable hour-plus series of soundscapes.
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