‘Freehand’ by Rich Osborn - a musical weave that expands the longer you listen

(November 23, 2015)

Search for a definition of ‘raga’ and you’ll find words such as ‘colour’ and ‘hue', you will also find it defined as ‘beauty’. Beyond the restrictions of defining terms ‘raga’ is also a melodic mode used in Indian traditional music. From a folk perspective, one man has extended the reach of definition freehand rich osborninto something significantly captivating. Rich Osborn calls himself: “a free raga style guitar player, inspired by the classical music of both East and West as well as other folk and world traditions” … and his new album ‘Freehand’ demonstrates precisely what he means.

A subtle blending Eastern and Western influences, exploration of Native American visions, Japanese koto music and inspirations from Bach, offer considerably more than guitar playing on this album. There’s an organic feeling to the way Osborn creates his music. Mind-entrancing musical phrases set moods, create images and build expansive soundscapes that convey deep feeling and display virtuosic creativity. Listen to Osborn work at his craft as the experience of ‘Freehand’ verges on the spiritual, freedom of form blending seamlessly with an aura of representation to entwine a musical weave that expands the longer you listen.

Opening with the sumptuous feel of ‘Going to the Beach House’, the mood changes to exhileration with ‘A Singing in the Blood’ moving into the haunting healing song ‘New Ledger Book Stories’ before the intricate ‘Cloud Towers’ casts its spell. Add the powerful imagery within ‘Winter Moon in the Oak Tree’ and the melancholic reflection of ‘Heading Home’ and another state of awareness pervades.

There are a myriad of reasons to listen to ‘Freehand’ … powerful, meaningful and lasting. And as they find their way into your inner being they quite simply do you good. Find the album and its creator here:

Review: Tim Carroll

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