Sophomore album from israeli guitar maestro ups the ante
Yair Yona’s 2009 album Remember contained numerous sweet instrumental guitar pieces, heavy on the acoustic side of things, with skillful fingerpicking and a variety of moods. It was, however, an austere set built around solo instrumental playing, sans vocals. Follow-up record World Behind Curtains opens up the sonic template considerably, obscuring melody lines behind echoey layers of reverb in “Expatriates” and utilizing such new sounds as keyboards and strings, as well as trumpet, French horn and tuba in “Poetry Night in Valhalla” and “This One’s For You, Glenn”. There is a mix of tempos and moods this time around as well, sometimes occurring within individual songs, all of which combine nicely with the wider range of instrumentation.
Despite this, and despite the high-energy fretwork in tunes like “Mad About You” and the jaunty fingerpicking of “Kottke and the Orchids”, World Behind Curtains remains something of a mood piece, probably only of interest to fans of virtuoso guitar playing. For such listeners, though, Yair Yona is a rare treat, and a musician to pay attention to.