Any composer who develops their work over a period of years is inevitably going to end up with musical fragments that don’t make it onto a finished album. They could be tracks that were dropped due to the constraints of a physical release. Maybe they needed to be cut or altered to serve the overall narrative. Or, maybe they are simply diamonds in the rough, awaiting refinement and context before they can shine. But, sometimes what ends up on the cutting room floor can tell its own story and so it is with the latest release from Edinburgh-based musician & composer Graham Richardson as Last Days which features fourteen pieces culled from the twelve years during which he created such understated cinematic gems as Seafaring, Satellite, and The Safety of the North.
For an artist as expressive as Richardson, a pastiche of vignettes and souvenirs of musical journeys past would be always be a worthwhile endeavor, but somehow Fragments comes together in a way that feels holistically like much more than the sum of its sundry parts. While it is made up of pieces of many stories, its very existence tells yet another one of how an artist creates and of the common threads that run through his work. Thoughtfully arranged and bonded in a common aesthetic, Fragments is a journey unto itself and quite a moving & beautiful one at that. Fans of Richardson’s work will find this deeply rewarding while new listeners will no doubt find themselves motivated to reach back into his catalog for more.
Fragments will be available February 22 as a limited edition, numbered, hand-assembled CD and digital download. Licensing of the music is also available via Split Music.