Eight String Religion is composer/cellist David Darling's debut record for the Hearts of Space label. The fruit of a decade-long collaboration between Darling and sound engineer/producer Mickey Houlihan, the album marries Houlihan's nature recordings to Darling's cello, piano, and vocal improvisations. Appropriately, Eight String Religion features eight nature-oriented pieces that evoke the unity of nature, humanity, and music. "Sweet River" features recordings of songbirds and water from a wilderness canyon blended with delicate string textures, piano and vocals, while "Sojourn" swells with soft keyboards, cello, and ocean sounds. More traditionally, the album's title track highlights Darling's technical skills, meshing an acoustic cello melody with a plucked rhythm figure. Eight String Religion is a creative, intimate recording from a unique collaboration.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares