About four years ago, Mary Lattimore visited us with Meg Baird regarding “Ghost Forests” (Three Lobed Recordings). 2018 was a key year for Lattimore, both that album and “Hundreds Of Days”, on her own name, her second release on Ghostly International, sedimented her name in the vast world of experimental music that wants to energise other poles. If there were any doubts, the celebrated “Silver Ladders” (Ghostly International, 2020), produced by Neil Halstead (Slowdive), settled 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 it onto the best of the year lists of Wire, Pitchfork, New Yorker or Quietus.
The harpist, resident in Los Angeles, has the gift of making you disbelieve in this thing of time. The harmonies and cadences she develops on her instrument of choice suspend, with immediate effect, a series of permanencies of reality. That is why listening to Mary Lattimore means absenting ourselves for a few moments and accepting that the delicacies and transmissions/transactions of emotions are important and require a pause. Important, then, to have a readiness for Lattimore’s harp and her sonic narratives, to feel it all as a sensory release, with light and movement fitting into every sentence.
Part of this working so well, is that Mary Lattimore’s music exists almost without desire. It’s happy where it is, at times self-contemplative, not out of vanity but out of the need to evoke itself as a method. If “Silver Ladders” concentrated in a poetic way the diverse paths of the harpist, already this year the reunion of two works edited separately, “Collected Pieces I” (2017) and “Collected Pieces II” (2020), in “Collected Pieces: 2015-2020” (also on Ghostly), reveals the diverse dead ends that were born from her long improvisation sessions of that period. Compositions that operate more on the will of containment than of expansion. Until then, in pieces that do not open up so vehemently, Mary Lattimore does not resist working in the continuum of suspension. Time cannot exist while listening to the harp. It is useless to resist. AS