Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Daniel Thorne's Lines of Sight is an extraordinary, expansive step forward

"Lines of Sight"

Release date: 15 March 2019
ERATP119 cover web
27 March 2019, 13:53 Written by Ray Honeybourne
The title of Daniel Thorne’s new record arises from the idea of (musical) perspectives on some complexities of the natural universe, from the course of a river to astronomical phenomena. Of course, with such ambition there is clearly the risk of compositional hubris; yet the sheer range of Thorne’s sound pictures and the thematic links between them are certainly impressive.

There is often extraordinary energy in these six tracks, but careful work on structural devices, such as the church organ effects in “From the Heavens”, keep an impressive sense of unity in each work. Thorne shows most convincingly the range that can be achieved with just a few saxophones and a bass synth. “Pyriscence” builds simply but with great power, the overlaying never gratuitous. The result illustrates the composer/musician’s considerable versatility, as a shifting of mood is achieved with an admirable nimbleness.

Here and there one senses Thorne’s playfulness, with echoes of Bach-on-steroids in “Threnody for a Burning Building”, but the development is extremely well managed with a maintaining of force as the pace slows and the high voltage gives way to a calmer energy before an explosive reassertion of vigour that, nevertheless, cleverly incorporates glimmering soprano sax details, successfully balancing chthonic power with subtle, star-like glints.

The final track, “Fear of Floating”, starts as a beautiful solo sax contrast to much that has gone before, its close-miked sonic working especially well as a precursor to the second phase that offers a greater but never overwhelming range of sounds that evolves impressively before a return to the original more minimalist style. It’s a fine conclusion to a record of considerable dimensions, always well controlled though never in the least predictable.

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