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Requia and other compositions for guitar solo Import

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John Fahey's extended experimentations decades later with avant-garde's music elite is foreshadowed on 1967's adventurous Requia. These moody, contemplative instrumental works (all featuring Fahey at his guitar-playing peak) resonate with passion, artistry, and--most of all--soul. "When the Catfish Is in Bloom" gradually crescendoes with Fahey's increasing, breakneck tempo, which--around the six-minute mark--becomes a blur of impossible fingerpicking that is both awe-inspiring and swinging. In the first part of "Requiem for Molly," the listener is bombarded by sound samples and tape loops, with Fahey slowly finding his chords. But the guitarist doesn't just noodle; he lets the composition slowly unfold, with humorous found-sound samples abounding and enough familiar guitar themes creeping up to keep you on guard. By part 3 Fahey reaches his most melancholy moment, letting out a methodical rendition of "California Dreaming" on top of lion roars and human screams. Though Fahey's playing influenced an entire generation of talented young guitar pickers, including Leo Kottke, his conceptual prowess goes unmatched here. A truly seminal recording. --Jason Verlinde

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9347f30c) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9366cef4) out of 5 stars Synthesis of the old and the new 23 Feb. 1999
By Jack W. Erter - Published on
Format: Audio CD
John Fahey has finally arrived at his (pre)destination - that of a cultural icon and purveyor of the lost sounds of yesterday. I bought this CD on impulse, being familiar with the man but not his music. They are both national treasures. His mastery of the guitar shines through, melding the traditional themes of the first two requia and "When the Catfish Is In Bloom" with the more modern, soundscape nature of the Requiem for Molly. Just as Fahey discovered and soaked in the music of this nation's blues forebears, so should you do the same with his own contribution to a unique musical heritage.
HASH(0x9366cf48) out of 5 stars The Charming & The Experimental John Fahey 8 Dec. 2013
By Jackie P - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Along with "The Yellow Princess" this 1967 record is the only other album John Fahey made for the Vanguard label. Anyone already charmed by John Fahey will not be able to resist this unusual record. Just over half of it is John Fahey playing his own wonderful compositions on his acoustic guitar, and that in itself makes for utterly compelling listening. At least two tracks here are re-recorded versions of music that was previously issued on his own Takoma label, and one other was later re-recorded when he signed up with the Reprise label. The unusual aspect of this record is the inclusion of four tracks (all back to back) titled "Requiem To Molly (Parts 1 -4)". This is a extended recorded montage and is not something you would expect on hear on a John Fahey album - but it was 1967, and experimentation with all sorts of sound was, for some, the order of the day. The sleeve/booklet describes this montage of sound as "special effects" recorded by John Fahey, Sam Charters and Barry Hansen.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x932c5d5c) out of 5 stars A misunderstood album by the master 19 May 2000
By Nobody important - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Let me first say that John Fahey is one of my all-time favorite musicians and composers. This album, however, is a peculiarity. Long before Fahey started truly delving into the realm of avante-guard (I really hate that term), he took a first step with the 4 part "Requiem for Molly," (the rest of the album is Fahey in his usual style). It basically sounds like a bunch of weird random noises layered over an interesting guitar line. I never understood exactly where Fahey was going with that. I didn't until I heard Steve Tibbetts, anyway. Steve Tibbetts, like Fahey, is a highly skilled guitarist who uses his technical prowess not as a crutch for bad writing, but as an integral part of his compositions, which are among the most beautiful and complex pieces this side of Bach. Steve Tibbetts' first album, while it lacks the complexity of his later works, showed me the potential of combining the organic sound of acoustic guitars with seemingly inappropriate electronic sounds, and he made it work. I don't think Fahey pulled it off on this album, but he gets points for creativity. Requiem for Molly is more of an historical artifact than a piece that stands the test of time, but it is worth owning for that alone. Besides, the rest of the album is Fahey in top form.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9305b1ec) out of 5 stars A good record... 4 May 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
It's interesting that in the liner notes to the Fahey anthology, Barry Hansen writes of "Knott's Berry Farm Molly": "After hearing 'Rain' by The Beatles, John became interested in the sounds of music played backward and edited the master tape himself." So it seems Fahey was experimenting with musique concrete techniques a little before Requia. In terms of Fahey compositions with sound effects though, I think my favorite is "The Singing Bridge of Memphis, Tennessee" from The Yellow Princess. Fahey uses these wonderful samples of clanking noises from inbound and departing trains, all beneath his ringing guitar and some anonymous whistling. Whenever I hear it, I just sit back and sigh for three glorious minutes. Requia's "Requiem for Molly" does perhaps get a bit too psychedelic for some to handle, but I still consider it one of Fahey's important records. Of the difficult material from his older releases though, The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party (Vol. 4) is probably more rewarding.
HASH(0x93737558) out of 5 stars Be careful if you're buying the MP3 version 23 April 2015
By B. Skinner - Published on
Tracks 3 and 4 are mislabeled here. If you buy track 3, you're really getting "When the Catfish is in Bloom", and if you buy track 4 you're really getting "Requiem for Molly (Part 1)".
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