From the May/June 2022 issue of Acoustic Guitar | By Kenny Berkowitz
After finishing the hyper-driven atmospherics of 2021’s The Other World on Our Planet, Trevor Gordon Hall turned back toward home on This Beautiful Chaos, writing these ten guitar instrumentals in the wee hours of the morning, taking care not to wake his wife and daughter.
Using six guitars—a nylon-string crossover, a baritone, a Portuguese viola amarantina, a pair of steel-string acoustics, and an electric guitar—Hall switches between solo recording and multitracking, shifting to a different tuning for each piece. He starts with “Chase the Chills,” a soaring, expansive solo on Furch baritone (tuned C F B# Eb G C) that strikes a warm, hopeful balance without ever reaching a resolution, its final notes gradually fading into silence. He ends on “At Peace with the Struggle,” a double-tracked duet that layers high, arching lines from a Gibson Les Paul on top of a low, steadying pattern pick on the Schwartz acoustic (C F D E C D).
In between, there’s the quadruple-tracked “Saudade,” where the nylon strings of the crossover dance above the ringing double courses of the viola amarantina, the quiet chording of the Haney 00, and the lilting baseline of the baritone. The centerpiece is “A Daddy and His Daughter,” where the baritone (C F A# D# G C) moves like a child learning to walk, tracing a melody that starts, stutters, stops, starts again, and ultimately reaches a patient, reassuring resting place. It’s the sweetest of these tunes, enveloped in a ringing warmth; a poignant reminder of finding joy in the chaotic comforts of home.