The "Soundscapes" are more technologically sophisticated frippertronics and while the concept itself is not original, the effectiveness of tools is nonexistent without a good ear for sound. With _A Blessing of Tears_, Fripp has crafted an album of such beauty that you will wonder how it can even be real! All the pieces are taken from improvised, live solo performances. It is hard to describe what it sounds like, it is sort of like a rapturous form of guitar soloing... Fripp pensively constructs various levels of looped guitar synths through digital electronics (as opposed to the old frippertronics use of analog tapes), bearing no resemblance to usual guitar music, just a constantly shifting, alien voices that make your billions of individual cells quiver with ineffable emotions. It is not like ambient new-age music for SISSIES that goes over you like moving water -- this gives most benefit to the active listener, rather than some passive-aggressive dingus trying to chill out. The way Fripp makes the different voices sort of "speak" to each other is very beautiful, and more engaging, like the solos from Crimson's "Walking on Air" but more complex. There is an emphasis on lots of minor and augmented harmonies, or harmony is strangely suspended altogether. It is not like an ambient, textural wall of sound, it is about dialogue between different voices, a ravishing polyphony in the language of angels. There is no real structure so one is just lucky that this music was recorded and one can listen. That is part of why this music is a peaceful, mystical experience. _A Blessing of Tears_ is a meditation on sadness, dedicated as it is to the memory of Fripp's mother, but I find this album does not make me feel sad. As with the world, we see suffering and evil and we are distressed by how the world is apparently such a malevolent place. But past this veil of sadness, is a sense of reconciliation and recognition that all the instruments in the symphony of the Absolute meld into a perfectly coherent, beautiful whole. We think of pain and death, but we must also think of beauty, friendship, peace and love. This is an excellent album!
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