Richard Skelton's `Landings' evokes images of the rugged landscapes around him in the West Pennine Moors in Northern England, creating a singular sound using bowed-strings, guitars and many acoustic instruments and field recordings.
`Landings' is empowered by Skeltons use of bowed-string instruments, to drive and hold the songs together. Although most of the songs are densely textured, there is nothing muddy about `Landings'. Hushed field recordings of gentle streams, windswept woodland, and bird song rustle under the surface, giving the songs a restless, elemental quality. Each song is a portal transporting you into a certain landscape, walking along on a crisp, foggy Winter's morning, breathing in the fresh air, surrounded by windswept trees and thick grey clouds, birds singing, leaves rustling, all cosily unsettling. The songs constantly shift, evoking the organic landscapes Skelton inhabits. Although split into songs, its difficult not to see the album as a whole, as a document to an intimate and timeless journey.
`Landings' has much in common with the artist `Richard Long', recording an intimate relationship with a place and time, how we map our passing through intimate and unexplored landscapes. Skelton has managed to create an incredibly complex and deeply moving sound from the bowed-strings. `Landings' mournful tones are in part due to the passing of Skelton's late wife Louise, I can't think of a more fitting tribute. As single-minded and emotionally engaging as this musical journey is, `Landings' is as delicate and intimate as a flickering flame. A unique and incredibly rewarding album.