Backed by bachelor’s and master’s degrees in composition, multiple musical studies, and loads of cooperation, guitarist/composer Mark Vickness dropped his concept album In The Rain Shadow on the 15th of May under his collective project MVI (Mark Vickness Interconnected). Drawing influence from nature and living in the mountain’s shadow, Mark invited 7 of the most talented artists on a wide range of instruments to take part in this release, and he’s inviting all of you on an authentic instrumental trip that’ll easily get In The Rain Shadow on your “Favorites” playlist. Let me tell you more about it.

MVI (Mark Vickness Interconnected) softly opened In The Rain Shadow with the dreamy, warm sound of High Desert, a brilliant multi-layered tune with diverse instruments in perfect harmony and arrangement promising a beautiful musical journey ahead. High Desert has an unstoppable groove fully supported by extremely fluid melodies, all in a unified stream with an irresistible dynamic progression. Killer opener! The Gorge hits next with unmatchable energy that had me moving and swaying throughout its smooth, subtle twists and turns. It has an amazing melodic conversation going on as MVI constantly kept introducing new instruments while pushing their sound boundaries toward a bigger and more open sound step by step, keeping the listeners at the edge of their seats. Alluvial Fans slowly builds up with a smooth mellow intro before turning into an epic folk fest with sunny melodies and unstoppable flow. It has some amazing orchestrations beautifully channeling an uplifting soft feeling, pushed by an energetic driving groove with the perfect pace to get things moving without compromising the song’s dreamy organic nature. Stillness (for Will) opens with a touching melodic call that sets the mood for an escalating progression, cleverly steering the song’s spacious structure to an emotional direction that makes good use of its multi-layered nature adding elements and sounds that create such a complete soundscape helping its soothing uplifing sound they’re moving towards takes shape. Roadrunner introduces an intense saxophone/violin conversation that you’d never want to miss.

It takes MVI‘s writing and whole sound to a new level where they managed to produce a highly energetic tune with an unstoppable groove that’s amazingly handled by bass and percussions while allowing saxophone and violins to engage in and lead the song’s sound and mood shifts. Adding more Eastern flavors and textures to MVI’s mix, comes Rupak (for Ty) showing a new dimension of their writing that I’d dare say mixes Western folk sound with Eastern melodies and groove, creating a beautiful fluid mix that takes the listeners into a new experience while keeping their core open-sound intact and welcoming in all directions. Cloud Shadows kicks off with some subtly melancholic dark vibes that as the song moves forward, it gently take a ramp progression towards a brighter, more engaging sound in a smooth way as warm melodies start taking over in a top-notch arrangement, showing off MVI‘s seasoned writing and amazing sense of melody. The theatrical violins at On the Cliffs of Mohr’s intro prepared me for an epic journey in the world of Tolkien, sending heart-hitting notes to the listeners as they build for something big. MVI hyped things up turning On the Cliffs of Mohr into an irresistibly moving energetic tune. In the Rain Shadow ends the record with a mellow dreamy flow that leaves the listeners relaxed and in a great mood. It sums up MVI‘s direction and writing methods, cementing their unique musical signature and peacefully signing out of such a mesmerizing sonic experience.

In The Rain Shadow is a lovely musical journey led by MVI (Mark Vickness Interconnected) demonstrating their world-class musicianship, amazing sense of melody, and total chemistry. Looking forward to more from MVI, keep on rocking. Cheers!