I am familiar with Trevor Gordon Hall and his work from previous albums Mind Heart Fingers (2014) and Late Night With Headphones (2016). Here we are five years later, and now I am listening to his latest release from this September, This Beautiful Chaos.
A title like that deserves some thought before listening to see if it matches well with the presented music. Straight away, I thought this was going to be some complex picking and strumming, which can be chaotic to one person yet beautiful in every way to another, or both. But that is my thought process, and each listener will find their way to explain what they hear and what it means. Trevor said that life can be crazy and chaotic but beautiful at the same time. I read into that as an indication of a complete life with many experiences.
The album features six different guitars, including a Standard Acoustic, Baritone Acoustic, Nylon String, High Strung Guitar, Electric Guitar, and a Portuguese instrument named Viola Amarantina. Guitar enthusiasts and those who appreciate various acoustic guitars will find this album well stocked with all flavors of ear candy for audible consumption.
Based on past experiences, I awaited a gratifying experience again, which I received. Trevor’s style of playing is a thing of beauty. What I have found to be exceptional is the ability to take one instrument, in this case, several types of acoustic guitars, and make so much music without any accompaniment. His abilities reach far and wide into his area of expertise. What people may find interesting is that This Beautiful Chaos is a culmination of experiences the artist has had over the years with concerts he has played, the people met along the way, lessons learned, and all the foods enjoyed. The beauty of a fast-moving life becomes a reality for a successful musician grateful for everything he has experienced within the music. Now you can hear all of that interpreted through the tracks on this recording.
“Know Thyself” is an excellent title with many layers of playing, including precise notes plucked with a nice flowing strumming rhythm beneath for those the notes to float over. It is life expressed fully through one composition. You can feel the joy, emotion, and movement of life within that song. I felt some good energy, and it made my heart smile. Such honesty on an internal level can be expressed externally by a person then amplified by the music. That is what Trevor accomplishes with the track and throughout the entire recording.
Some of the track titles are prolific, like “The Presence of Absence” and “Resolution in Tension” is a slow burner, systematic, and for a good reason. Now that is something everyone can use! Just saying the title is an affirmation or confirmation of that state of emotion you could be in and how to resolve it. I like to take in a breath and count to 4, then release it counting to 8. That helps; however, music always opens doors for me into different states of consciousness. With this album, I felt gratitude knowing what the artist has shared, its importance, and how communicating with listeners can help lead the way to change in a positive direction.
This Beautiful Chaos is relaxation, meditative, reflective, friendly, and easy going, like a sunny day with nothing but blue skies. Life is fast and complex, and it certainly can be chaotic, but we have artisans like Trevor Gordon Hall and his music to slow things down and show us a different way. I found myself once again amazed at this man’s talent and ability to mesmerize me with one instrument.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
November 23, 2021
01. Chase the Chills (2:49)
02. This Beautiful Chaos (6:02)
03. Momentum and Meaning (5:18)
04. Know Thyself (3:54)
05. The Presence of Absence (4:30)
06. A Daddy and his Daughter (3:57)
07. Saudade (5:02)
08. Resolution in Tension (4:31)
09. Ontic Blues (5:25)
10. At Peace with the Struggle (4:03)