Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn/Ginger Brooks Takahashi & Friends Songs from the Black Mountain Music Project

We all need our Walden Pond reflections. This is something Miss Zeitlyn and Miss Takahashi realised, so they packed up all the domestic and exotic instruments they could lay hands on and headed for a house in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Over the course of a month in isolation they wrote and improvised music, occasionally joined by friends who dropped in. The results, brought back to the city, are songs and musical interludes that breathe out the mountain air for those not fortunate enough to be able to take the time ourselves to get away. Sweet and simple odes are treated with acoustic guitar, muted keyboards, accordion, steel drums, horns, electronics and the sounds of nature which are allowed to enter and go at their own rhythm. The instrumentals are more raucous; hints of Tom Waits out in his woodshed with Brecht filtered through. The sparing use of the human voice makes it seem like a rare beast in this wilderness — only on the closing pop song "Oh! September” are we reminded of the fact that actual people are involved in making this (and it's a rock record after all... oh!) (K)