2012 saw another stylistic veer for Richard Dawson with the creation of The Glass Trunk. Triggered by a commission to respond to the local museum service’s archives, Dawson created an album largely from stories found in an old 17th Century scrapbook, including a lengthy paean to the sorry demise of community pillar Joe The Quilt-maker and the much-loved yet equally, viscerally dark Poor Old Horse. 6 acapella odes of between 4 and 13 minutes in length, plus a rendering of Mike Waterson’s The Brisk Lad, intersperse with a series of brief instrumental vignettes, Dawson’s guitar sparring with the electric harp of Rhodri Davies for strictly spontaneous 60-second blasts.
When Dawson produces an album, he thinks of it as a whole thing, a body, not a collection of pieces, and the deftness he applies to that process affords the finished work a rare richness and depth.
The Glass Trunk tracklisting:
- A Parent’s Address To His Firstborn Son On The Day Of His Birth
- Poor Old Horse
- William And His Mother Visit The Museum
- The Brisk Lad
- Joe The Quilt-Maker
- The Ghost Of A Tree
- The Ice-Breaker Baikal