Multi-layered Instrumental Music | MVI (Mark Vickness Interconnected): In The Rain Shadow (Independent / May 15, 2023)

Multi-layered Instrumental Music
MVI (Mark Vickness Interconnected): In The Rain Shadow
(Independent / May 15, 2023)

MVI, or Mark Vickness Interconnected, is a project of invention for the titular acoustic guitar virtuoso. On In The Rain Shadow, the collective has produced a multi-layered concept album of instrumental music.

"Most of the music on In The Rain Shadow takes its inspiration from moving to the high desert (California's Owens Valley) in late 2020. We live literally in the rain shadow, which is a meteorological term meaning on the sheltered side of a mountain range where there is less precipitation because of the wind patterns. 

"Most of the titles on this recording are taken from geological or meteorological features we experience daily. These compositions are intended to reflect a new appreciation for the opportunity to absorb the wonders of living in the rain shadow. It is humbling, awesome, peaceful, thrilling, tranquil and beautiful."

The nine tracks are named after the natural surroundings - The Gorge, Alluvial Fans, Roadrunner. The instrumentation is lush and subtly intertwines the various voices. Each gets a chance to shine within the mix.

The mood is generally upbeat, from the speedy rhythms of folky High Desert to the jazzy groove of The Gorge and gentle flow of Alluvial Fans. There are many different elements in the music.

The ensemble has grown to become a 7-member collective, each bringing varied influences to the music, from jazz to progressive rock to classical and more.

MVI Interconnected
MVI Interconnected

"MVI is intended to reflect musically the idea that we are all part of one incredibly diverse human family. As a composer, this is my dream ensemble. Each musician is an accomplished soloist adept at many different types of music. They all bring an astounding breadth and depth of musical understanding and experience. 

"There is almost no style of music we cannot draw from. We have a classical trio (violin, cello, oboe), a jazz quartet, percussion instruments from almost every continent and virtuoso players capable of playing pretty much anything I put in front of them from funk to raga style improvisation, from interwoven counterpoint to rock power chords, from a fast Irish 12/8 romp to an ambient textural tapestry and more – they do it all with ease and with an infectious energy that is palpable on every track. I could not be more grateful to be able to work with these remarkable musicians!"

Stillness (for Will) is a standout track. Its meditative opening gives way to a vibrant polyrhythm underneath a soaring solos by the oboe and violin. 

After early training at the piano, Mark switched to acoustic fingerstyle guitar, and from performer to composer. He holds bachelors and masters degress in composition, and has studied classical piano, guitar, sitar, and tabla. Along with many years as a performer, he's composed film and dance scores.

The album should please fans of classical music, jazz and global jazz, and and fusions thereof.

Personnel: Mark Vickness/guitar; Mads Tolling/violin; Matt Renzi/winds; Joseph Hebert/cello; Dan Feiszli/bass; Ty Burhoe/tabla; MB Gordy/percussion


The release has included a series of live HD videos.