La Boule Noire & VEDETTES
Through evocative, emotional music, Goodbye, Hotel Arkada, the new album by American harpist and composer Mary Lattimore, speaks not only of its beloved namesake – a hotel in Croatia undergoing renovation – but of a universal loss that is shared. Six sprawling pieces shaped by change; nothing will ever be the same, and here the artist, moving in synthesis, celebrates and mourns the tragedy and beauty of the ephemeral, all that is experienced and lost in time.
Documented and edited in unusually measured sessions over a two-year period, the material remains rooted in improvisation while shining as the most refined and robust in Lattimore’s decade-long catalog. We find her communing with friends, contemporaries and longtime influences at full throttle, while slowing the pace to nurture the songs in new ways.
“When I think of these songs, I think of flowers wilting in vases, melted candles, growing old, being on tour and seeing things change while you’re away, not realizing how fleeting experiences are until they don’t happen anymore, to fear for a planet we’re losing to greed, to an ode to the art and music that have truly shaped your life and can transport you back in time, to the desire to maintain sensitivity and not sink into hollow despondency. ”
Memories, scenes and split-second impressions have long filled Lattimore’s musical universe. As one of today’s finest instrumental storytellers, she has “the uncanny ability to pluck a string in a way that allows someone to instantly remember the taste of their fifth birthday cake,” writes Pitchfork’s Jemima Skala. Lattimore’s desire to record life as it unfolds corresponds to her desire to travel and perform, as Grayson Haver Currin explains in the New York Times: “Lattimore recognized that being in motion brought forth threads of inspiration, states of mind that she wanted to express through melody.
In 2020, Silver Ladders, recorded with Slowdive’s Neil Halstead, allowed Lattimore to broaden the vision of her main project. “All the people I’ve asked
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