||“Relaxing, refreshing, and rejuvenating to the core, Trevor Gordon Hall has a way of eliciting multi-faceted ‘simplicity’ from within the ostensible chaos of what appears to be. Outstanding.” – Dyan Garris
After what has seemed like complete chaos, we’ve all endured over the past few years, it’s lovely to find this truly refreshing acoustic guitar album by Trevor Gordon Hall.
Trevor is rated one of the “top 30 under 30” guitarists by “Acoustic Guitar Magazine.” He’s also noted for his interesting guitar invention called the “kalimbatar,” which incorporates an African finger piano – a kalimba – with a guitar. You can see that in action here: https://youtu.be/Lo9kGHYn_bI.
Now, on to this 10-track acoustic guitar album, “This Beautiful Chaos,” which inspires us to remember that no matter how crazy things seem, life is to be lived, and all our experiences are to be cherished and honored.
The album features 6 different guitars: Standard acoustic, baritone acoustic, nylon string, high strung guitar, electric guitar, and a Portuguese instrument named “Viola Amarantina.”
This music found here is the apex of Trevor’s life experiences, ranging from people he has met, concerts he has played around the world, different cultures he’s encountered, things he’s read, music he’s heard, and more.
Opening the album is the brief, “Chase the Chills.” From the first notes of this piece, one feels immediately relaxed and “chill.” The “breathing space” between notes is perfect here, as it is throughout the album, and this is very nicely done. What a great beginning.
Following is the title track, which is 6 minutes of acoustic guitar peace. If this doesn’t calm the chaos in or around you, I think nothing will. The tranquility seeps into your soul and remains there.
One thing I really like about this album is that it’s not just acoustic guitar noodling for noodling’s sake. The pieces are serene, flowing, and melodic and open the heart space in a gentle way. “Momentum and Meaning” accomplishes this without effort. So beautiful.
“Know Thyself” takes us through what might be described as the intricacies of a person. I think this piece is artistically brilliant on a lot of different levels.
Now, here’s another brilliant piece, “The Absence of Presence.” I really love the soft gentleness of this reflective, contemplative composition. There is always some kind of music in any seeming silence. We have only to listen. This is a favorite on this album.
Fathers and daughters share a special bond. “A Daddy and His Daughter” captures that awesome sweetness perfectly. What a wonderful, sentimental piece this is.
I believe “Saudade” roughly translates to “bittersweet” from the Portuguese to English. It’s a deep longing for that which one might never have again. The wistful “Saudade” is yet another favorite on this album. Trevor’s guitar playing skills are super-highlighted here. It’s yet another track to love. And by now, you’ve probably gotten the idea that for any acoustic guitar music lover, this is a “must have” album. Yes, you should get the whole thing. It’s outstanding.
“Resolution in Tension” is deeply, sublimely, relaxing to every part of the psyche. No tension here. Any of that has completely disappeared and we are left with just peace, wonderful peace.
So. . .”is it live or is it Memorex®?” “Ontic Blues” is a gently bluesy number, as the title indicates. Now, if I have it right, “ontic” refers to what is “real,” tangible, and physical in nature, as opposed to what is considered “metaphysical.” What is “reality?” Maybe both. In any case, this is truly a great song.
This gorgeous album closes out with the perfectly lovely, “At Peace with the Struggle.” And now we know there is no struggle at all. Trevor has a way of eliciting multi-faceted “simplicity” from within the apparent chaos of what appears to be. That is definitely an art. This outstanding album is calming to the core and beautiful in every regard.
Official artist website: https://trevorgordonhall.com
Recorded at Maple Hill Farm in Redding, CT 2019
Mixed & Mastered at SynchroSonic Productions - Oxford, MI
Produced by Corin Nelsen and Trevor Gordon Hall
Recorded, Edited, Mixed and Mastered by Corin Nelsen
Album Design/Cover Art by: Brian Lee
Higher Level Media