subota, 29. rujna 2012.

Valgeir Sigurðsson - Architecture Of Loss

Muzika za istoimeni balet u izvedbi Stephen Petronio Company: čim nešto pogledaš, taj trenutak odmah nestaje; moraš opet pogledati i to što vidiš zbog samog gledanja smjesta nestaje. Kvantna logika pogleda: samim gledanjem brišeš ono što vidiš. Bi li to nestalo i da nisi pogledao?

Valgeir Sigurðsson, Architecture Of Loss (2012) streaming ovdje

The parameters of musical possibility are vast on Valgeir Sigurðsson’s third LP; Architecture of Loss. The music flows from no “notes” at all to lyrical, folk-like melody, from spare, acoustic sound to dense digital intervention. Originally composed for the same titled ballet by Stephen Petronio. Architecture of Loss is a powerful work in its own right in which Valgeir works from a broad palette of absences.
By deploying an array of digital processes, a small, flexible ensemble and pared- down musical materials, the music can pivot instantly into someplace radically different. The viola hangs onto a single note, for instance, then transforms that note into a scraping, rasping effect. That transformation from pure tone to pure gesture ripples through the fiddle’s electronic multiples until the whole texture has turned inside out; a spare, sputtering, abstract electronic beat yields to the shaggy sounds of a few live drums or vice versa. The result is what sounds like a completely different piece of music.
The performers were handpicked from trusted Bedroom Community regulars: in addition to Valgeir himself and composer/keyboardist Nico Muhly, the album features violist Nadia Sirota - her sound is as deeply individual and immediately recognizable as the sound of her speaking voice and takes full possession of the notes on the page—and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily - a secret weapon of a sideman who excels at exactly the things you can’t put down on paper, from solid grooves to scribbles of noise.
The resulting piece maintains a structural unity surpassing either of Valgeir’s previous, more formally open LPs. While his solo debut Ekvílibríum boasted singers like Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Dawn McCarthy, the voice of that record was unmistakably Valgeir’s own. On his second solo disc - the soundtrack to the film Draumalandið - the suite of movements released on disc enjoyed an aesthetic life of its own independent of the finished film. Draumalandið and Ekvílibríum were allowed to develop freely as recording projects whereas Architecure of Loss had to be realized with physical performance in mind, by its players and dancers.
This album represents the piece as conceived and reconceived for the stage, and then reconceived again as pure music (the movement “Gone, Not Forgotten,” for instance, is exclusive to this recording). Created, pored over and developed: the result is a meticulously designed structure, a sound architecture of musical and physical gestures and stillnesses. -

“The music [...] can sound chill and eerie: there’s singing, echoing, rasping, crackling. At times, the piano emits single, spaced-out notes that sound like water dripping resoundingly on ice in a momentary thaw” - Arts Journal
'Architecture Of Loss' is the stunning 3rd solo LP release by Icelandic producer, composer, mixer and engineer extraordinaire, Valgeir Sigurdsson. It is the score to a dance piece by celebrated choreographer Stephen Petronio "...about formation and disintegration, the physical manifestations of "losing" and all that implies" and features contributions from Nico Muhly, with live performances by Sigurdsson with longtime collaborators Shahzad Ismaily and Nadia Sirota. As we've come to expect from anything our protagonist is involved with, the execution of production is second to none and bears all the hallmarks of his visceral, expansive sound design across its 10 diverse and striking parts. Its metastable structure feel in constant flux, transferring energies from hypnotic low end drones to airborne strings, between fizzing electronic particle and acoustic textures, from wide-angled atmospheres and cavernous resonances to clinically crisp, pointillist percussions that we can only imagine will beautifully compliment the movements of highly trained dancers. Recommended to fans of Nico Muhly, The Haxan Cloak, Roly Porter, Paul Jebanasam, Eyvind Kang. - boomkat

Valgeir Sigurðsson - Draumalandid image

Valgeir Sigurðsson, Draumalandid (2010) streaming ovdje

Valgeir Sigurðsson has made his name as an exponent of musical subtlety. As an engineer and producer, he's often focused on the intimate, the miniature. On his solo debut Ekvílibríum, his songwriting and composition tended towards the muted or the oblique. His best-known work is punctuated with question marks and ellipses, and not so many exclamation points.
But this is only one side of his musical capabilites. Draumalandið (“Dreamland”), a documentary about the exploitation of Iceland's natural resources, tells a story about huge things—the fortunes of a whole nation; the destruction of vast landscapes; and the global economic forces, greater still than any nation, that fuel it all—and for his soundtrack to the film, Valgeir has brought out a heavier set of tools. His entire roster of Bedroom Community labelmates contributes in some way to the creation of the score: classical composers Nico Muhly and Daníel Bjarnason, industrial wizard Ben Frost, and American folksinger Sam Amidon, along with a host of others, and the small orchestra assembled for the record swells from moments of expansive beauty into massive, surging symphonic force. Its harmonies are anxious, pulsing, driven.
Not that this is an album lacking in subtlety. Draumalandið the film takes on the delicate task of unmasking the apparent win/win proposition of Iceland's aluminum smelting boom—clean energy! new jobs! economic growth!—as a false blessing with very real consequences. Likewise, Draumalandið the soundtrack takes global, at times seemingly abstract questions, and offers deeply personal responses.
Valgeir's score makes fierce and direct statements of sorrow and indignation, but it also expresses, with a kind of hushed awe, the beauty of landscapes on the brink of devastation, and the seductive shimmer of the illusions that imperil them. Tender, fragmented melodies rise out of uncanny musical textures; in the album's opening track, Sam sings “Grýlukvæði,” an Icelandic folktune about a greedy hag come to devour naughty children, just as he would an Appalachian ballad, and in turn Valgeir reframes it as a sad, sympathetic reprimand to a people (Icelanders, yes, but by extension all of humanity) who would sell their birthright to a rapacious multinational.
This is all painted in brushstrokes broad and minute, from palette of hugely varied shades—Sam's banjo playing, Daníel's John Cage-style piano treatments, Ben's halos of distortion—but somehow, it all fits together as a coherent musical argument. Heard as an accompaniment to the film, the Draumalandið score can disappear into the images and the narrative. Listened to on its own, it rewards close attention: for the subtle interconnections between the movements, for their cumulative emotional force, and simply as a series of meticulously scored and recorded musical moments, urgent meditations on the natural sublime. -

Draumalandid is the name of a new documentary about Iceland's current environmental plight and its inextricable connection with the forces of the global economy. For the film's soundtrack, renowned producer Valgeir Sigurosson calls upon the entire roster of his Bedroom Community label for support. The score is fleshed out by classical composers Nico Muhly and Daniel Bjarnason (the latter's excellent Processions debut album still being fresh in the memory) with further contributions arriving from ambient noise sculptor Ben Frost and US singer-songwriter Sam Amidon. While much of the record is driven by orchestral instrumentation, opening piece 'Grýlukvæði' is fronted with an Icelandic vocal, sung by a banjo-toting Amidon amid a breeze of clipped glitch-beats and filter treatments. We're soon thrown into the main body of the score, which wastes no time in employing the idiom of panoramic soundtrack composition, with added touches like distortion from Frost (put to excellent use on the closing 'Helter Smelter') or prepared piano by Bjarnason subtly setting this music apart from mainstream orchestral scoring. Of course, Sigurðsson is best known in his capacity as a producer and engineer, and in these fields the record certainly distinguishes itself capturing the scale of the undertaking with great clarity and warmth, adding a little contemporary, digital magic to the formula when called for. 'Beyond The Moss' is especially easy on the ear; its disjointed strings wrestling chimes, unruly metallic percussion and odd, plosive exclamations over the full breadth of the stereo field. Highly recommended.  - boomkat

Valgeir Sigurðsson - Ekvilibrium image

Valgeir Sigurðsson, Ekvilibrium

Ace producer Valgeir Sigurdsson has had a hand in the recent outpourings of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and his Icelandic compatriot Bjork. Just dropping those two names should be enough to give you some idea of how good a producer this guy is. After hearing Bjork's Medulla you'd assume that Valgeir was some electronic whiz kid, but by the time Will Oldham's The Letting Go dropped there was ample evidence to suggest that he was equally at home recording in a predominantly acoustic context. The same high definition warmth that characterised those projects is cast over Sigurdsson's solo debut, an album for all connoisseurs of recorded sound, marrying exceptional electronic detail with real instrumentation on a grand scale. Being the studio high-flyer he is, Sigurdsson gets to call in favours from modern classical composer Nico Muhly (who contributes on piano), Faun Fables' Dawn McCarthy and the aforementioned Will Oldham, lending his vocals to two tracks here. The first of the Oldham-sung pieces ('Evolution Of Waters') is a real spa treatment for the ears, loaded with gorgeous strings, scuttling pitter-pat beats and chiming music box melodics. Instrumental piece 'Focal Point' works on a similar set of principles, with an unprecedented crispness and clarity of sound at the essence of its success. Slightly more amorphous soundscaping characterises the middle section of the album, with 'After Four' and 'Equilibrium is Restored' converging on a richly layered ocean of sonic texture. The Dawn McCarthy collaboration 'Winter Sleep' takes the album to operatic levels of orchestral melodrama, only for the scale to gracefully shrink on the chamber piece for strings 'Before Nine'. Ekvilibrium stretches far beyond showcasing Sigurdsson's studio prowess, it proves he's an artist to be reckoned with in his own right. - boomkat

Valgeir Sigurðsson, Evolution Of Waters EP (2009)

streaming ovdje

Valgeir & Sruli Video

Valgeir Sigurðsson's music is featured in a video accompanying designer Sruli Recht's Spring Summer 2012 collection, Cast By Shadows.
A frequent Bedroom Community collaborator, Sruli Recht's a designer to watch. Check out his latest collection, Cast By Shadows, here and watch the accompanying video featuring Valgeir's music below.

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