The so-called ambient music movement was kicked off sometime in 1975 when Brian Eno heard a tape of eighteenth-century harp music. More than four decades later, Mary Lattimore is connecting the dots, creating beautifully becalmed settings for the harp. The prolific player’s latest release, And The Birds Flew Overhead (recorded live by the NYC Taper crew last year at Three Lobed Records’ “Sweet Sixteen” concert in Raleigh, NC), sees Lattimore forming a Heavenly Music Corporation (to borrow again from Mr. Eno) with keyboardist Elysse Thebner Miller. And the music is definitely heavenly, with the duo stretching out over the course of two sidelong pieces that ebb and flow in hypnotic fashion. But it’s not just heavenly. Like the best ambient, there’s an underlying tension and restlessness throughout that envelops the listener, as Lattimore and Thebner lock in and zone out. Boundaries are broken, new territories discovered. words / t wilcox

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