New London Consort / Philip Pickett / Pilgrimage

9 Songs of Ecstasy

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AllMusic Review by Rodney Batdorf

9 Songs of Ecstasy is an evocative and frequently haunting album that offers a musical interpretation of the travels of the medieval pilgrims who roamed northwestern Spain in the 13th century. Composers/arrangers/producers Simon Cloquet and Eric Calvi based much of their music on traditional melodies and brought these timeless tunes into the 20th century. Alternating their stylistic approach between contemporary instrumental, space rock, ambient, and trip-hop, Cloquet and Calvi create a hypnotic array of soundscapes with the assistance of such collaborators as Phil Manzanera, DJ Spooky, and Ben Neill, but what holds 9 Songs of Ecstasy together is the lovely singing of Catherine Bott, who gives the music a spiritual, human core with her wonderful voice. The end result is a record unlike any other.

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