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Lanterna


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Instrumental ambient rock

Status:

Most recent release, Desert Ocean (2006)

See also:

The Lanterna Home Page

Ectophiles' Guide entries for Area and The Moon Seven Times (Henry Frayne's previous bands)

Comparisons:

The Moon Seven Times without the vocals is about the closest thing, but this is highly individual work.

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Henry Frayne's guitar is more evocative than most songs with lyrics. Instrumentals that speak. His guitar work is one of the most evocative instrumental work I've heard, and he is one of the few instrumentalists that I can listen to and be wholly absorbed by without longing for vocals. To my ear, Henry is one of the (if not the) most evocative guitarists playing now. No one can create a entire landscape of sound with just a guitar like Henry can. (Neile)

Comments about live performance:

I caught Lanterna doing an in-store show. It was a livingroomy kinda thing, considering how casual they were and that there were maybe a dozen people listening. I liked the music and got the CD. More than anything else, it reminded me of Phil Manzanera's work with 801. (I was kinda put off by their use of a taped drum track, but it was understandable considering they were touring in one car.) (jzitt@humansystems.com)

Recommended first album:

Any—all are wonderful

Recordings:


Lanterna

Release info:

1995—Parasol Records, 905 South Lynn Street, Urbana, IL 61801, U.S.A., 217-344-8609—CD 013; 1998—reissued by Rykodisc

Availability:

The Ryko version is widely available

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Henry Frayne—guitar and voice
Brendan Gamble—drums

Comments:

There are three versions of this thus far: a limited edition cassette and a cd first issued by Parasol Records, then reissued by Rykodisc—all have exquisite artwork (and packaging in the case of the cassette and Parasol versions). This is the only instrumental music that I play frequently—and I play it very frequently. In the years since I first got the cassette and then the cd version, I have heard this hundreds of times and it never fails to engage me. It's hard to describe: it's as though the music creates landscapes. The first cut ("Silent Hills") has a spaghetti Western music ambience, but it's gorgeous (you may have heard a snippet of this on NPR in between news segments); on the second ("Down by the Seine") Henry actually sings (fairly low in the mix)—he has a strong voice that plays against the overall sound very well (I'd love to hear more vocals from him); next is "Turbine" a driven tune that sounds rather like its title, with an ominous background speaking voice; the quiet and deliberate "1985" contrasts strongly. And those are just the first four cuts. Well worth multiple listens. (Neile)

the packaging of the cassette is beautiful. the booklet is hand-bound, gauzy pages with art and liner notes and everything. the cover of the booklet is inlaid with an engraved metal plate with the number of the edition on it. the music is pretty nifty too—ambient guitar noodling (though the songs are a lot more advanced that simple noodling) with some other sounds thrown in for good measure. (woj@smoe.org)

Lanterna is a fine piece of work—emotionally charged instrumental music. (dixon@physics.Berkeley.EDU)


scenic/lanterna (split single)

Release info:

1997—Independent Project Records, P.O. Box 1033, Sedona, AZ 86339-1033, U.S.A./Parasol Records, 905 South Lynn Street, Urbana, IL 61801, U.S.A., 217-344-8609—IP 058cd/PAR-031 cd

Availability:

Mail order

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for Lanterna fans

Group members:

Henry Frayne—guitar
Brian Frumm—guitar
Nick Macri—bass guitar
Joason Docter—drums

Guest artists:

Brian Hunt—bass guitar

Comments:

Great to have more Lanterna—I never get tired of this, it's dreamy yet focused. I admit, though, that I don't listen to the Scenic part of the single. The two Lanterna songs remind me how wonderful it was to hear the band live, and how brilliant a guitarist Henry Frayne is. He creates emotional soundscapes like no one else. Heaven. Oh, yes, the packaging on this disc is gorgeous, too. (Neile)

Elm Street

Release info:

2001—Badman Recording co.—BRCD-986

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Henry Frayne—guitar, A.R.P. synthesizer
Colin Koteles—drum kit

Produced by:

Adam Schmitt and Henry Frayne

Comments:

More wonderful Henry Frayne guitar—I love his sound! As Dave Dixon says above, this is emotionally charged instrumental work, which comes dramatically alive for me, far more so than most instrumental music. Unusual and alive. Highly recommended. (Neile)

Sands

Release info:

2002—Badman Recording—BRCD 978

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Henry Frayne—guitar, vocals, claves
Steve Day—rhythm tracks

Produced by:

Henry Frayne and Steve Day

Comments:

Another strong and beautiful album of evocative instrumental music. This is probably the most frequently played instrumental album at our house. Highly recommended. (Neile)

Highways

Release info:

2004—Badman Recording—BRCD 963

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Produced by:

Mike Brosco & Henry Frayne

Comments:

Always lovely. (Neile)

A beautiful album with a perfectly apt title. It starts out with a driving guitar riff, as if you're pumped up for a journey just beginning. Then it quiets down, and I can imagine scenes of blue skies, rolling hills, and cows grazing lazily in roadside pastures (in other words, Ohio). (JoAnn Whetsell)


Desert Ocean

Release info:

2006—Jemez Mountain—JMD-946

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Henry Frayne—guitar, voice & A.R.P. synthesizer

Guest artists:

Eric Gebow—drums

Produced by:

Mike Brosco and Henry Frayne

Comments:

Desert Ocean strongly reminds me of Henry Frayne's guitar work with The Moon Seven Times. The songs even seem more traditionally structured, as if they could easily have vocals on top of them. This is not to say that they sound lacking as they are. They're driving and engaging, a great listen. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Write Lanterna at P.O. Box 205, Champaign, IL 61824, U.S.A., or email Henry Frayne.

Lanterna's song "B Minor" was in the trailer for the movie Catch Me If You Can. Songs from Lanterna's album have been played on NPR.


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2013-01-12 23:33:02.
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