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Like so many musicians in the last year, Paul Hutchison found himself with a lot of blank space in his appointments diary, but, realising he had a lot of time on his hands, decided to make the best of it by contacting other similarly-placed musicians to join him in creating this CD. Paul composed all the tracks, the majority of which were arranged by violin and viola player Seona Pritchard, then they were sent out for local recording before being sent back to Ed Bersey in the studio for the techie stuff.

Paul is one half of Belshazzar’s Feast, and is also known for his work with Pagoda Project and The Maniacs, and here he plays accordion, with an impressive range of accompanists, including the groups Väsen, Naragonia and Sheepstealers, and seven other international individual artists. The instrumentation features accordions, violins, violas, cello, sax and clarinet, so there is a collective overall style and sound to the music, which has gentle, structured arrangements and elements of chamber music within it.

The mastering and engineering are outstandingly good, and it would be easy to think that everything had been recorded in the one studio, with all the instruments well-balanced and clearly audible, so hats off to Ed, who also plays drums on the CD.

Just in case you (like me) didn’t know, “petrichor” means “the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil”. Appropriately, therefore, the music coheres in an organic way throughout, making it a pleasure from start to finish.

Gordon Potter


This review appeared in Issue 139 of The Living Tradition magazine