The pandemic has fuelled the search for relaxing music, evocative of other places, of a dormant nostalgia with a tremendous desire to build a longing for a time, another time. That other time is an imaginary place, one where we idealise being, with burnt colours, blurred memories and the comfort that there is already a soundtrack for it: Mary Lattimore’s pieces. Over the last decade and a half, the music of the American harpist (who lives in Los Angeles) has made its way through solo albums and collaborations that have emphasised her talent for taking the listener to places they never imagined they would be. Returning to her is a departure to discover the new-impossible that is so often far removed from everyday life.
Lattimore’s music is built on the uncertainty of what is real or imagined. In many cases, it’s based on places that Lattimore has visited, experienced and from which he has obtained sensations that he has decided to transfer to his instrument of choice. As is the case with his latest record, “Goodbye, Hotel Arkada”. He composed music based on his experience in a hotel in Croatia, where he imagined what the golden years would have been like – if they ever existed, that nostalgia for what we don’t live in – in a place so often inhabited by strangers passing through. Lattimore decided to make the transmission of this experience collaborative and worked with Meg Baird, Ben Chasny, Roy Montgomery, Rachel Goswell and Samara Lubelski to make “Goodbye, Hotel Arkada” a multidimensional experience. Her harp blends with voices and other strings in the quest to realise a place that never existed, but which comes into being from the moment the harpist imagines it and elaborates it into sound, with all the details, perfections and imperfections. Mary Lattimore has visited ZDB a few times in recent years, so we feel free to say that it’s a pleasure to go to these places with her, more and more, as she accumulates experiences, desires and motivations diverge. The dreamlike nature of her music is becoming more and more real. AS