Mark Wingfield & Kevin Kastning – An Illustrated Silence
(Greydisc GDR 3513. CD Review by Chris Parker)
Guitarists Mark Wingfield and Kevin Kastning attracted a host of rave reviews for their previous album together (‘extraordinary beauty’, ‘fantastic, expansive and adventurous’, ‘sublime’) and this duo recording contains seventeen reasons why. Completely improvised, but not strictly ‘free’ (Wingfield explains: ‘The music required that we both react spontaneously to literally everything the other played in a continuous fashion with the underlying aim of playing music which sounded like a composition’), An Illustrated Silence sets Wingfield’s searingly eloquent electric guitar against the astonishing plethora of sounds obtained by Kastning from self-invented instruments such as the fourteen-string contraguitar and twelve-string alto guitar, as well as the more conventional classical guitar.
The resultant album may have been produced spontaneously with no overdubs, but – such is the closeness of the musical rapport between Wingfield and Kastning – it does evince all the assurance and poise more commonly associated with composed material; indeed, such is the aptness and cohesiveness of the music that it is impossible even to differentiate between ‘lead player’ and ‘accompanist’ on particular pieces.
The accompanying publicity promises ‘new acoustic landscapes of imagination and deep introspection’, and that is a pretty accurate description of what Wingfield and Kastning deliver throughout an intriguing and consistently gripping set.