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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, May 3rd, 2016

Mark Knopfler and Evelyn Glennie: Altamira

mkegMark Knopfler and Evelyn Glennie
Altamira
(Mercury Records)

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The main themes here are gorgeous and the acoustic guitar playing is about as top-notch as you’d expect, considering it is Mark Knopfler playing guitar and composing. The percussion background is expert, whether it’s spooky metallic churning replicating bison, or trilly xylophone all from Evelyn Glennie. This 10-song, lush landscape soundtrack from Knopfler and Glennie for the movie of the same name, Altamira, is a little gem of an album. Playing what he calls a parlor guitar for these pieces, Knopfler pretty much provides a perfect, single-note counterpoint to sliding strings and Glennie’s shaking and rattling. The opening title track is beautiful, on which Knopfler pulls off as much as plucks the specific theme. Then there are the two bison songs (the first much scarier than the second) with Glennie in the distance rumbling cuts of sound. The sad, slow violin and plunk of Knopfler’s muted strum and glistening double-stringed melody on “By The Grave” and the hopeful string sway and single acoustic plucking of “Glory of the Cave” follow. On “Glory,” you really can almost see great, foggy landscapes and hidden caves appearing in your mind’s eye as you listen. Knopfler and Glennie create well what the director of the film said he wanted, music not specific to a time or place. Altamira is magical.

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Mark Knopfler and Evelyn Glennie: Altamira