Jules Wolfrey's album A Long Time in the Making is an album unified by sounds. It is a journey into Wolfrey’s experimental style, held together by his expertise. Wolfrey is indeed a man with experience. His background ranges in the authorship of several works, countless live performances at his home on the Isle of Wight, and the study of literature and music. He is a member of the sound sculpture and visual installation duo, ThrobTheorists.
On this particular album, Wolfrey is the sole producer of sounds. He plays instruments that range from a Theremin to a wine glass. He also plays the piano, keys, guitars, fiddle, recorder and percussion. This leaves no doubts to his absolute talent, with a deft ear for sounds as great as his ability to play the instruments. Wolfrey engineered, mixed and produced the album independently at Whippingham Studio.
Wolfrey was inspired by the Isle of Wight and constructed his album around the people and places there. Wolfrey’s says, “Each composition started with a single improvised theme, played either on guitar or piano, and then built from that starting point, adding other instruments in a series of serial patterns and counterpoints.”This album feels experimental because the genres of the songs are not cohesive. The sound is very consistent, and that is what holds this album together and unifies A Long Time in the Making in an unexpected way.
The track, "Making Time (for RMR)", is elegantly simplistic, with a repeting melody that is entrancing. As it builds, the tunes mysteries begin to unfold. This track is an excellent example of Wolfrey’s powers to create an emotional soundscape. "Last Tide" begins as a medieval song, ushering in images of a formal dance at court. Half way through large gong-like percussion brings the pace up. "Ghost in the Barn" has a sweet and simple Americana twang to it.
There is a time and a place for this album, at times it is mesmerizing then it switches to feel primary and innocent as a lullaby. I would highly recommend this album to any listener who wants a new encounter with an aural image. All profits from A Long Time in the Making go to Rainbows Childrens' Hospice. The charity provides palliative care and support for children, young people and their families, when faced with life-limiting conditions.
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