Craig Fortnam — „Ark“ (16 July, 2021)UK FLAG                                                                                             Craig Fortnam — „Ark“ (16 July, 2021)
∫   Mechový jazyk psychedelických lidí se ukazuje prapodivně novým hávem. Jeho chápání místa ve zvukovém poli těchto klarinetů, akustické kytary, jeho vlastního hlasu při přepínání rejstříku je pozoruhodné.
∫   Vše se děje na moři. Bez kotvy. Zmítaný. Ark je prvním albem, které vyšlo jako sólové album Craiga Fortnama. Jako skladatel skupin North Sea Radio Orchestra a Arch Garrison Craig vždy dělal hudbu s plnohodnotným významem, emocionální silou a hloubkou osobnosti. Archa je jeho nejosobnější a nejintenzivněji realizovanou nahrávkou. Craigova hudba byla popsána jako skutečně anglická s místem a přírodním světem, které se zrcadlily v motivech. Vše je jakýmsi plátnem. Moře a východní pobřeží Spojeného království se pro Ark staly symbolem nejistoty, bouří, bolesti a změn. Místní názvy evokují krásnou bezútěšnost a zranitelnost. Pobřeží je nezastavitelně erodováno do nepoznatelné rozlehlosti oceánu.

Location: UK
Album release: 16 July, 2021
Record Label: Onomatopoeia Records
Duration:     36:01
Tracks:
01. Ark   4:26 
02. The Gargoyle’s Seaweed Hair   0:58
03. Ravensodd   2:24
04. German Ocean   2:26
05. Managed Decline On The Orford Ness   6:46
06. Crack Haven   1:18
07. Strophic   4:29
08. A Speck I Am   8:46
09. Heaven Knows   2:29
10. Now Floods The Tempest High   1:58
Personnel:
∝    Craig Fortnam: voice, guitars, organ, synth, piano, percussion
∝    Nicky Baigent: Bb clarinet, bass clarinet
∝    Luke Crooks: bassoon
∝    Harry Escott: cello
∝    James Larcombe: piano
∝    Brian Wright: violin, viola
∝    Hugh Wilkinson: vibraphone
∝    All titles composed and produced by Craig Fortnam.
Review
by Joe Muggs ⌊15 July 2021⌋ Score: ★★★★  
∫   Craig Fortnam’s music — solo or in the bands North Sea Radio Orchestra and Arch Garrison — sounds like a lot of things.
∫   It sounds like the 70s prog~folk~jazz interface of Kevin Ayres and Robert Wyatt as its influence feeds on into Kate Bush. When he starts looping things up or letting synthesisers dominate, it hints at early ’90s electronica. His plaintive singing and natural surrealism frequently recall the early 2000s folktronica songwriting of Mike Lindsay and Sam Genders in Tunng. A lot of the time you can even feel like you’re only a sackbut away from things going entirely medieval.
∫   On this first solo record, he revisits a lot of themes from his own previous work too: lyrical motifs of migration and sanctuary, bass clarinets and actual musical themes that echo back to the “alternative chamber music for modern ears” of NSRO songs. And he digs back deeper still — phrases like “lit dust”, “ivy tumbledown”, “dusty raven”, “lichen~sign” hinting at some faded spirituality of Englishness, like a sad language that has been passed forward from scratchings on barrow walls through poets, comedians and BBC gardening show presenters, nervous at the threat of climate change.
∫   Yet, as you listen, these reference points — these hints of half remembered past and doomed future — are not what dominate. Because Fortnam also clearly has his attention on music’s ability to occupy the present: specifically via tonality, sensuality and above all, hooks. His understanding of the place in the sound field of those clarinets, of the acoustic guitar, of his own voice as it switches register, is remarkable. Likewise he knows how those nature phrases, and the little peculiar twists of melody he wraps them in, will nag at the back brain like distant flashes of memory of walking home through a churchyard at night, or the smell of fermenting grass, or being startled by a hare bolting from a hedge. This record sounds like a lot of things, but most of all it builds a world completely of its own, and there are not many albums you can say that of. — theartsdesk.com
∫   https://theartsdesk.com/new-music/album-craig-fortnam-ark
WEB: https://www.archgarrison.co.uk/
CHRIS SAWLE, SEPTEMBER 14, 2020:
∫   https://www.backseatmafia.com/album-review-arch-garrison-the-bitter-lay/
BC: https://craigfortnam.bandcamp.com/album/ark
FB: https://www.facebook.com/Arch-Garrison-436363986400726