About four years ago, Mary Lattimore visited us with Meg Baird, about “Ghost Forests” (Three Lobed Recordings). 2018 was a key year for Lattimore, both that album and “Hundreds Of Days”, in her own name, her second release on Ghostly International, cemented her name in the vast world of experimental music that wants to boost other poles. If there was any doubt, the celebrated “Silver Ladders” (Ghostly International, 2020), produced by Neil Halstead (Slowdive), fixed the matter with seven beautiful compositions that know how to exist in an extensive and open musical world, in permanent suspension. It’s no wonder it made the Wire, Pitchfork, New Yorker, or Quietus best of the year lists.
The Los Angeles resident harpist has a knack for discrediting this time thing. The harmonies and cadences that she develops in her instrument of choice suspend, with immediate effect, a series of permanences of reality. Hence, listening to Mary Lattimore is to step away for a few moments and accept that the delicacies and transmissions/transactions of emotions are important and require a break. It is important, then, to be available for Lattimore’s harp and its sound narratives, to feel everything as a sensorial release, with light and movement to fit all the phrases.
Part of it working so well is that Mary Lattimore’s music exists almost without desire. She is happy where she is, sometimes self-contemplating, not out of vanity, but out of the need to evoke herself as a method. If “Silver Ladders” concentrated in a poetic way the different paths of the harpist, already this year the meeting of two works edited separately, “Collected Pieces I” (2017) and “Collected Pieces II” (2020), in “Collected Pieces: 2015-2020” (also on Ghostly), reveals the various dead ends that emerged from his long improvisation sessions during that period. Compositions that operate more in the will of containment than of expansion. Until then, in pieces that do not open so vehemently, Mary Lattimore cannot resist working in the suspension continuum. Time, that, cannot exist while listening to the harp. It is useless to resist.