Tag Archives: A Closer Listen

REVIEW REBLOG – In the Light of Air: ICE Performs Anna Thorvaldsdottír

I’ve been saving this review from ACL for a little while and then Q2 posted the overview and whole piece to listen to here –
Anna Thorvaldsdottir Carves Isolated, Icy Paths With ‘In the Light of Air’
The two fit well together.
Thank you A Closer Listen for the Review.

a closer listen

In the Light of AirLess than a month after Anna Thorvaldsdottír’s inclusion on Nordic Affect’s Clockworking, a new collection of her work has been issued.  This four-movement work (plus a concluding piece) premiered only a year ago, and is performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble.  At the 2014 Reykjavik Arts Festival, a series of breath-activated lights enhanced the experience, while many klakabönd (metallic ornaments known as a bind of ice) were used as percussion.  Much of this is apparent in the clip below, but home listeners might imitate the experience through creative lighting and sound-and-motion activated appliances.

Not that any of this is necessary to enjoy the album, a combination of filigree-thin solos and remarkable convergences.  Thorvaldsdottír honors both the contributions of the individual performers and their work as an ensemble.  At this point, fifteen years and five hundred premieres into their career, ICE’s resume is so long that it causes the…

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REVIEW REBLOG – möström ~ we speak whale

Courtesy to A Closer Listen for this review and well worth following the link and looking at the creativity of The Vegetable Orchestra : )

a closer listen

UNREC09_frontThe genre-defying debut of female trio möström is a sparkling original, beguiling in the best sense.  These Viennese veterans of other bands (including Gustav, broken.heart.collector and The Vegetable Orchestra, dedicated to “the exploration of the acoustic properties of vegetables” – really!) have now combined forces to produce music that can’t be imitated, because it doesn’t imitate anything else.  In fact, the only comparison we can make involves the “Emoticon” video, which shares the visual (although not the aural) tone of múm’s “They made frogs smoke til they exploded”.  Simultaneously playful and creepy, the childlike visuals are blended with extremely dark undertones, earning a parental warning without a single lyric.

Still with us?  Good.  Then you’ll definitely appreciate the album.  Perhaps the safest way to approach the music is sideways, so as not to alarm it.  The disjointed feeling of the combined instrumentation (bass clarinet, keyboard, DIY electronics) is mirrored by…

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REVIEW REBLOG – A Closer Listen -Far Rainbow ~ No Medicine That Can Cure A Fool

Discovered for myself Far Rainbow a while back but thanks to A Closer Listen glad to return and reblog this review.

a closer listen

RainbowFar Rainbow are Emily Mary Barnett and Bobby Barry. On No Medicine That Can Cure A Fool they introduce the listener to a deeply colorful world that’s alive and blended together rather uneasily by rocky, experimental seas and the oh-so-still ambient sky. At first, the ambient drones prepare to take you deeper into the music. Diluted cymbals crash heavily. A pulsing bass tries to conceal the dawn chorus and its song of sweetness and light. Chirping birds eventually lose their voices and are replaced by electronic copies that bubble out of the music like a deep sea sonar. No Medicine That Can Cure A Fool is colorful music that slowly spreads its wings. A drum suddenly kicks in and provides a steady rhythm to the sailing drone which, incidentally, has its own rhythm – it just isn’t a beat – and the frequency of the drone wavers up and down…

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I was thinking about the Sounding Out post and about the Fluxus movement and here is a wonderful modern piece utilising the body as an instrument.

If you visit the Infinite Greyscale site here, you can read further about the release.

There is a great review at A Closer Listen and worth a revisit (as I did today).

The Reach of Resonance: A Meditation on the Meaning of Music

Courtesy to A Closer Listen – This review fits in well with the Experimental focus on Feminatronic and includes Miya Masaoka.Here are a couple examples of her creativity –




a closer listen

The Reach of ResonanceSteve Elkins’ thoughtful, fascinating film about experimental music and musicians has been making the festival rounds for the past few years, and is finally available to screen on demand.  It’s exactly what our site is about, and is highly recommended to all of our readers.

One need not be familiar with our site, or even with experimental music, to be familiar with one of the names: last year, John Luther Adams won both a Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy for Becoming Ocean.  In a coup of sorts, this film captures the composer as he’s becoming inspired to create that very work.  It’s a perfect starting point for the film, because Adams’ music, although intensely creative, is still accessible to mainstream audiences.  Meanwhile, Misa Masaoka interacts with the natural world while Jon Rose and Bob Ostertag explore the porous line between music and politics.  Their subject matter could not be…

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Thanks to A Closer Listen for the review of Ventil Label releases, leading me to this –