Music Review: Interconnected by Mark Vickness
When Oakland-based, classically-trained musician Mark Vickness was working on Interconnected (2020), he decided to forgo the lyrics and focus on the music instead. The result is an amazing collection of beautiful harmonies that are exceptionally well produced. Taking inspiration from various cultures and their traditions, customs and arts, Vickness sought out to create a record that highlighted and celebrated our interconnectedness, despite our differences.
“Instrumental music is an ideal means of expressing this because it is a universal language,” writes the artist. “This ensemble is comprised of musicians who are capable of a wide range of styles from different cultures and different eras.” Although Vickness is on acoustic guitars, Interconnected also features two-time Grammy winning violinist Mads Tolling, seasoned cellist Joseph Hebert, tabla-wizard Ty Burhoe, and bassist Dan Feiszli, who also recorded, engineered and mixed the album at his studio in El Cerrito as well as at Oakland's 25th Street Recording.
According to Vickness, the material on the nine-track album was influenced by his deep reflection on the inner workings of life, including childhood traumas, modern struggle, simple joys, profound sadness, lived wisdom and the joy of awareness: “I worked hard to write this music with interconnectedness in mind, within each piece individually and in the relationships between the pieces themselves. Some of the pieces on Interconnected come from a deeply personal place." Makes sense, as “Interwoven” and “For Every Child” feel somber and melancholy.
For me, the best part about the album is the focus on the music, which I will describe as Americana-influenced classical. Among the tracks that appeal to me the most are “Hot Apple Stuff,” “Bodega Blue” and “Mia Lucia,” although the entire album is absolutely lovely. I love hearing the finger-style compositions, with their intricate notes and elaborate arrangements, as I try to guess which part of the world influences the notes as they sound off. All I can say is that each and every track offers something pleasant and unique.
2. Grey Skye
3. Hot Apple Stuff/Studio version
4. Bodega Blue
5. 6 in 7
6. Mia Lucia
7. For Every Child
8. Hot Apple Stuff/Live version
9. One Day Over A Thousand
Note* Album provided for objective review by our partners.