A Blessing of Tears

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Originally released: 1995


  • Robert Fripp (guitarist)
  • John Sinks (FOH sound, sound technician)



Recorded live to DAT during live performances in California, 21 January -- 1 February 1995.

  • 6'30 The Cathedral of Tears
  • 7'59 First Light
  • 6'06 Midnight Blue
  • 6'06 Reflection I
  • 7'25 Second Light
  • 8'37 A Blessing of Tears
  • 4'00 Returning I
  • 5'12 Returning II


Reviews are listed in chronological order within each section. Please retain a chronological order when adding new reviews.

Entire Release

Date Submitted: 11-Oct-97
By: Michael W. Flaherty (z946128 at rice dot farm dot niu dot edu)

""A Blessing of Tears", Volume 2 of the "Soundscape" series, is among Robert Fripp's darkest works, and righfully so: it is a memorial for his late, beloved mother, Edith. As with the white, ghostly object that entreats the eye on John Miller's cover art, Fripp's mother is the object of "A Blessing of Tears": for the listener she is the unknown in the distance. We know that these soundscapes are about her, but, like Miller's painting, Fripp's music is abstract and works on a purely emotional level.

"The recording begins with the soft mourn of "The Cathedral of Tears". The weeping guitar slowly builds a drowning wall of sound that reminds one of, yes, human crying. What the following tracks lack in variety they more than make-up for in depth. This is not a collection of individual pieces so much as as it is a musical variation on a theme. "Midnight Blue", with its soft, gentle waves of slow moving sound is particularly effective, as is the dark, meditative title track. The album closes with two versions of "Returning": the first is played backward, which gives the track the rather frightening suggestion of the returning being a look back on the ended life. An equally mysterious minute of silence seperates the two versions. The life is over, the dead have perhaps gone somewhere, and the artist and listener can only imagine where or what this all might mean.

"How much Fripp's notes on the origin of this work affects the listener is, of course, impossible to judge. But I find listening to this disc to be a somewhat draining experience: draining in the sense of a rejuvenation and clearing of the mind. In this recording Mr. Fripp has made me revisit some times and places that are painful to return to, but in the end I am better for having gone there. This disc is highly recommended to all who enjoy Mr. Fripp's experimental works."

Date Submitted: 24-Apr-98
By: Andrés Astudillo (pajarosumirlo at yahoo dot com)

"Just... Very beatiful. The music express perfectly what Mr. Fripp feels in the performance moment."

Date Submitted: 16-Jun-99
By: Alberto Santillan (amluz at mixmail dot com)

"Well prepared to be pleased A BLESSING OF TEARS is arguably fripp's strongest effort since he cut EVENING STARwith eno in 1975.a magical record for me,its very,very misterious music. notes emerge from the ether."

Date Submitted: 14-Dec-02
By: Robert McColl Millar (r.millar at abdn dot ac dot uk)

"I first heard this piece in the summer of 2001. When the events of 11 September that year happened, I found myself listening again and again. I was not personally affected by the events, but the sadness and frustration which they engendered had 'A blessing of tears' as their soundtrack. Yet Fripp's expression of personal loss also has a global relevance which is matched by its ability to help sadness to be converted into transcendence."