ponedjeljak, 10. prosinca 2012.

Hildur Gudnadóttir - Leyfdu Ljosinu

Islandska čelistica miluje zupce tišine.


Recorded live at the Music Research Centre at the University of York, 'Leyfdu ljosinu' is the latest full-length from Icelandic cellist Hildur Gudnadottir, and follows 2009's phenomenal 'Without Sinking'. Again we are treated to Gudnadottir's delicate melancholia, but unlike its predecessor, 'Leyfdu ljosinu' is one single piece, recorded in one take with absolutely no post production to meddle with the sublime nature of the tonality itself. This gives the album a rare sense of levity and depth, and a pacing that many so-called 'experimental' artists attempt but few manage to truly master. A quiet album by modern standards, Gudnadottir seems happy for her rumbling stringwork to occasionally blur into a cloud of barely audible drone, while her gorgeous vocals are smudged into echoes of what they once were. It almost sounds like a transmission from another time pushing itself through corroded wires to get through. Needless to say this is right up our street, and should have fans of Juliana Barwick, Julia Holter or Grouper's recent work clamoring for more. - boomkat

Brainwashed (USA):
On her third solo album (the title being Icelandic for "Allow the Light"), Hildur Guðnadóttir presents a performance that is entirely live (without audience) of just cello, voice and electronics, which begins deceptively simple, but is soon molded into a rich work of intimate beauty as much as it is a complex study of the most rudimentary sounds in a compelling structure.
Consisting only of two pieces, the short "Prelude" is exactly that: a short, sparse opening of dry, unaffected cello playing that may have functioned as much as a warm-up for Hildur as it does for the album as a whole. It leads directly into the 35-minute title track, and the album proper.
Opening with the continued cello and the addition of delicate vocals, the same sparse, intimate vibe continues, insinuating basic expectations for the rest of the album: from the sound and manner of recording, I was expecting an entire album of only strings and voice. Soon the cello drops away entirely, leaving just the vocals to be carefully looped and processed (in real time) into layers, any actual words become secondary to the melody created from the effects.
The returning cello cuts through the fragmented pieces of voice, resulting in a rich combination of natural and electronic sound that builds in density, resulting in a swirling mass of sound that takes a slightly darker turn, hovering ominously over droning low-end cello. The sound shifts in its closing, where the cello becomes less about texture and more about taut, rhythmic swipes that are layered upon themselves, resulting in a jarring, rapid motif that builds and builds into a suspenseful coda, ending what is mostly a reflective, contemplative piece on a tense, almost unsettling note.
As a completely live work, Leyfðu Ljósinu speaks volumes of Hildur Guðnadóttir's ability as both a composer and performer. The building of sound from a delicate voice and cello to a heavy, swirling mass of sound and closing on a tense, rapid note works extremely well from a structural perspective, and the fact that it was all performed in real time with no overdubs or post-processing makes it all the more exceptional.

soundcolourvibration.com (USA):
Icelandic cellist and vocalist Hildur Gudnadottir has shocked me this year with the awe inspiring live performance album Leyfdu Ljosinu on the UK based imprint Touch. Recorded live with no audience at the Music Research Centre, University of Yorke in January of this year, the flowing essence of minimal presentation is astounding and as powerful as anything I have heard this year. Minimal in approach, Hildur Gudnadottir presents a four minute intro of eerie and slowly burning cello that sets the tone for the type of atmosphere that is to follow on Leyfdu Ljosinu. The following track contains the self titled piece and runs for almost forty minutes as one movement that shifts in various cycles that closes out the album. There is an underlining emotion and feeling that takes over the album, something that defines the albums purpose so well. It’s unbelievable how Hildur Gudnadottir achieves some of the layering that she does with electronics, cello and her vocals and it’s all very angelic and harmonious, never drifting outside of the realm of crystalline beauty. The climax of vocals, cello and electronics at the end is definitely worth the slowly building energy that this album paces at and displays a stunning performance of her cello capabilities with no post production involved.
Much of Leyfdu Ljosinu drifts and floats into different cascading cloths of color, folding inside of itself as each drifting moment cycles around to the other. The atmosphere feels cinematic and speaks for as much tension and restrain as it does muscular power and velocity. Leyfdu Ljosinu is really a remarkable testament to the importance of minimalism in ones music diet. As many albums strive to become large, this is the type of sound that feels large from the smallest of sources and the sound that isn’t being played by instruments becomes just as important as those present. In this world, the type of microphones utilized, a rooms acoustics and many more elements that lay unspoken in the albums final result become factors that give a much greater weight to the music than most contemporary records and is one that engineer Tony Myatt pulled off remarkably.
With vocals that sound like they are hardly surfacing through the depth of a blanketed forest in a lucid dream, intricately vibrant and softly placed loops and an overall musical imagination that paints thousands of pictures, Leyfdu Ljosinu truly becomes a magical and otherworldly vibration. [Erik Otis]

textura.org (USA):
Icelandic cellist Hildur Gudnadottir's Leyfdu ljosinu (Icelandic for ‘Allow the light') was recorded live in a single take at the Music Research Centre at the University of York in January 2012. No post-performance manipulations were applied, making the recording as accurate a rendering of the performance as possible. A solo recording in the truest sense, Leyfdu ljosinu finds the classically trained Gudnadottir (aka Lost In Hildurness) extending dramatically upon the sound-world presented in the work by using electronics to multiply her cello and voice. Loops are generated that then sustain themselves as base figures against which subsequent vocal and cello elements resound.
Opening with the cello alone and at its most natural, the brief “Prelude” lays the groundwork for the thirty-five-minute title track. Extended rests separate the bowed tones, almost as if to suggest the music's awakening, until Gudnadottir's soft voice appears to signal the start of the major section. An almost ghostly mood is created when her ethereal voice softly intones for minutes on end, the music's hypnotic character reinforced by the lulling, to-and-fro motion of its rhythms. Fourteen minutes into the second track, the cello starts to challenge the willowy vocals for dominance, the instrument swelling into rather cloud-like formations as it floods the aural space with its dramatic presence. Blocks of heaving strings surge dramatically, and a single cello eventually splits off from the whole, making it seem as if a single voice has risen to the surface of a turbulent, blurry mass, and grows ever more agitated as the end nears.
Gudnadottir makes full use of the title track's generous length to shape the music's arc with patience and deliberation. In fact, the growth in density occurs so gradually, it occurs almost imperceptibly, and it's only when one reaches the end of the recording that the overall shape of the material comes retroactively into clearer focus. Though it's admittedly more of a cello-based performance than cello-based composition, Leyfdu ljosinu presents a fascinating exercise in control in terms of execution and vision in terms of conceptual approach.

The Liminal (UK):
I’m given to thinking about space more and more at present – in a figurative and a literal sense. And call this hubris, but I can’t be the only one to have noticed this as a broader trend in cultural commentary. Everywhere I look I seem to see a new clamour for space – room – both in the forms under discussion, and something more indefinable, like a new, less frantic place to observe from. It feels almost like a reifying of the metaphoric critical claim for the high ground. It might also be characterised as a plea for stillness, to return to those near-sacred spaces of the past, those (probably illusory) zones which from this rocky vantage point look so full of pure experiential calm and purpose. And my instinct with all this is to say that it’s not just a continuation of the postmodern flattening of things, nor the concomitant ‘flattening’ of sound associated with MP3 culture, and not merely a ‘men of a certain age’ thing (which I’m tempted to call the End of Music syndrome) or a simple waning of affect – this feels new, or at least there’s enough different strands feeding into it for it to sound like a new cry.
That use of the word sacred is contentious (how could it be otherwise) but I’m not sure what other word fits, as tonally at least, this plea for space and the zone itself does have a whiff of the sacred. No other artform excites the easy need for reverence quite like music does (though you could argue it was there in the post-impressionists, particularly Rothko, and some would say too obscurely in Blanchot and the later post-structuralists), and ‘serious’, protective listeners and commentators, are increasingly demanding a shift/return to a kind of monkish devotion when it comes to listening to and commenting on music.
(There’s also, of course, the side issue of the reifying of this sacralising impulse in the continuing fetish for staging concerts in ostensibly sacred places and spaces. Acoustics aside, these concerts don’t perform any subversive function (as discussed by Tony Herrington in an acerbic Wire column), but instead seem to use these spaces in the hope of some referred numinosity or sublimity, a kind of lazy waft at grandiosity that fits with the aforementioned easy need for reverence.)
So what of it? Is there an answer to this cry? Is it merely a generational thing – ageing bodies doomed to chart the clicks and whirrs of metabolic degradation?
* * * * * * * *
I wouldn’t want to characterise the entirety of its output, but there’s always been a trace of the sacred about a lot of the music released by Touch- and a genuine appreciation of space, both in and around the artists they’ve worked with and the methods they’ve used in recording and production, and subsumed in the sound itself. Much of the music makes demands of the listener – contemplation, immersion – and their appreciation of the tactile, fetish-like qualities of product also feeds into this. (By sacred I do mean in the most secular way possible, less in a religious aspect than in a devotional one, something close to Schopenhauer’s awed notion that ‘music floats to us as from a paradise quite familiar yet eternally remote… it reproduces all the emotions of our innermost being, but entirely without reality’. ) And if you were to select a modern figurehead for Touch’s loose ethos, you’d be hard pushed to find a better example than Hildur Guðnadóttir.
Guðnadóttir’s solo work to date is infused with this combination of the devotional and the spacious – you could even argue that in her work the inherent relationship between the two ideas/realms becomes increasingly obvious. The simplicity of what she does is at the heart of things - that unadorned nakedness of her cello, relying on its rough beauty of tone and timbre – but there is an ineffability to this simplicity that explanations only ever really brush up against. With Leyfðu Ljósinu it’s as if she’s reached the central secret of this simplicity, and there’s a real feeling of the inadequacy of language in attempting to identify it.
Take that title – Leyfðu Ljósinu. There’s an immediate sense that the phrase is untranslatable, that you’re only getting a hint of the meaning. It loosely translates as Allow The Light, which when you try and parse it, feels incomplete and kind of hovers between grammatical and lexical possibilities. It’s a command, but like Schopenhauer’s dictum, it sort of drifts in from another realm; and it’s also an impossible command, because one is unable to find a place of control – instead you have to wait, and let the natural order take its course. Which is as good an analogy for the experience of listening to Leyfðu Ljósinu as I can think of: it isn’t something you grasp and contain, rather you surrender yourself to it and (there needs to be a word for this) find a space of aural contemplation.
Leyfðu Ljósinu was recorded at the Music Research Centre, University of York in January of this year (2012). It was recorded live (without with an audience) and there has been no post-production tampering at all – all the sound processing (such as it is) took place during the 40 minutes of the performance. The ‘Prelude’ consists of little more than a two note cello figure, that rises out of the subterranean depths and sinks once more. This figure acts as a kind of undulating bedrock, the echo of which remains in and just out of earshot throughout the entirety of the main section. This main section begins with Hildur voicing a similar two note repeating figure which is then looped and very subtly layered until it becomes like a layer of vapour over the initial bedrock of the ‘Prelude’. Little else happens for the next few minutes until a thread-thin higher vibrating note is introduced – the introduction of which, seems to induce a sudden concentration on one’s own breathing patterns. The passage of air through the upper reaches of the body.
The resurgence of Guðnadóttir’s cello, when it comes, is low and vast, almost leviathanic – a series of deep, humming notes that swarm beneath everything, and buoy up the already rising vocals. The cello gradually fills the field of the recording, somehow gathering space to itself and the thickening of the air around it is almost palpable. The mid-section becomes, then, a time-warping appreciation of the sonic potential of the cello. Somehow, putting time markers against specific phenomena seems pointless as in reality, what occurs is a kind of expansion: it’s almost as if you’re able to walk around inside the theatre (and sonic) space and feel the instrument as a tactile reality. You start to sense the individual wound fibres of the strings, packed together in their confined wire casings, the bristling hairs of the bow, the raised calluses on the player’s fingertips…
The gradual build to a climax is almost (only almost) anti-climactic in its way, as this contemplative spell is broken, but the enacted drama is a kind of necessary release from the madness of synaesthetic detail – a detail that feels dangerous to contemplate for too long, lest you never find a way out. What this section does need (and has in terms of density), is volume – furniture needs to shake, masonry to crumble…
* * * * * * *
In light of my ramblings in the earlier part of this piece, and these ideas of sacredness and ‘easy reverence’, I’ve been thinking hard about my reaction to Leyfðu Ljósinu. I’ve become more and more cautious about the urge to praise, the desire to confer an undeserving status on objects that either don’t warrant it or to which I’ve scarcely had time to acclimatise. Those of us who turn to art to sate our transcendent urges are in danger of running out of superlatives and cheapening the entire exercise. Which is, I guess, another argument for quietude – a quieter place to listen from.
That said, I’ve noticed myself (and have spoken to others who have had a similar experience) stopping in crowded places to let Leyfðu Ljósinu play itself out, resolve itself. Which is, in its way, a form of worship, a giving over to something external and greater than one’s own self. It’s not something I’m necessarily given to doing (except for maybe when paralysed by the force of the natural world) and I guess my point would be that this space we’re all craving, these zones of sublimity that (however illusory) used to exist, that we used to access without thinking, are still extant, still accessible – it’s just that with age, and the ceaseless flows of noise around, the waymarkers are faded and dimmed. Thankfully we still have those who find new ways of sharpening our senses, however fleeting the moments. [Matt Poacher]

The Silent Ballet (USA):
Icelandic cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir has recorded with bands like Múm and Throbbing Gristle, toured with the likes of Animal Collective, and released two albums on Touch, but somehow her name seems to be absent in discussions about leaders in the experimental/classical realm. What can we say? It's a male-dominated industry. Guðnadóttir's latest work, Leyfdu Ljosinu (translation: "Allow the Light") is a forty minute, two track effort that features just Guðnadóttir, her cello, and whatever live manipulations could be squeezed out. Despite Guðnadóttir's ties to other artists, she tries to keep her solo work just that - hers alone. Leyfdu Ljosinu exemplifies this mindset, as it was recorded live in one setting, with no post-processing and no audience. The absence of a crowd may or may not be of consequence, but the album certainly sounds as if it was created in an empty space and given all the room it needed to expand and conquer the surrounding noises. When played at low volumes, Leyfdu Ljosinu may seem quaint or charming, but when the audience bares the full force of the music, its haunting, forceful nature is fully revealed through ghastly waves of droning cello. Perhaps its the Icelandic stigma forces this conception, but there is a bitterness on Leyfdu Ljosinu that is not too common of works in this realm, and would certainly be an uncharacteristic move on the part of Peter Broderick, Richard Skelton, Greg Haines, Zoë Keating, Julia Kent, or many of the other more prominent modern cellists. On Leyfdu Ljosinu, Guðnadóttir is carving out her own identity, and it is a wonderful sight to see.

Norman Records (UK):
I don’t know a lot about this lady but she did a thing on Sonic Pieces not too long ago with Hauschka that Phil thought was amazing so I’m pretty curious to listen. This album was recorded live in York in a non-concert environment and has all sorts of lovely shimmering drones on it. I don’t have the artwork to hand because of a bizarre mix-up involving Brian, who was originally going to write this review, taking it home with him without the disc in it...which sounds like it was his fault but it was actually mostly mine. Looking at a previous release I see she played cello, zither, processors and voice, so I’m assuming that’s what’s going on here. There’s definitely a cello involved and lots of soft processed drones anyway.
At the start it’s quite neoclassical-sounding but later on we get into somnolent soundscaping business with creeping high and mid tones slowly morphing and swelling in quite a sinister way, with a kind of Lawrence English-ish blurriness, but a slow melodic heart that falls somewhere between Stars of the Lid and Deathprod. It’s well relaxing, actually, and the patient droneophiles amongst you are certain to be completely swept up in the full, soft tones and mournful strings.

Fluid Radio (UK):
It doesn’t seem fair to refer to the community of Icelandic composers as a music scene. Cross the ocean, several aesthetic styles and a decade or two, and revisit late 1990s pop punk for that. Blink-182, Third Eye Blind, and The All-American Rejects may each have produced some terrific music on their own — a true scene, in more ways than one — but tell us without Googling it which one recorded “Graduate.” Give up? So do we.
But back to Iceland, it seems impossible that, 15 years from now, anyone here will confuse the work of Jóhann Jóhannsson with that of Wildbirds and Peacedrums, or the compositions of Ben Frost with those of múm. The community might be tightly-knit, and mutually supportive, but the country’s musical breadth is just as remarkable as its depth. It is often remarked that the relatively small population produces astonishing numbers of world-class musicians, but their artistic range is no less impressive.
Yesterday Touch announced the return of Hildur Guðnadóttir. In the paragraph above we listed four diverse artists or ensembles, born or based in Iceland. Cellist, vocalist and composer Guðnadóttir has worked with each of these and a dozen others, a well-established figure in this small, prolific society. Her previous solo album Without Sinking was a collection of ravishing, deep-throated arrangements for cello, zither, and voice, alongside organ, bass, and clarinet. Yet one-sheets, reviews, and concert announcements — including this review — still rely on the gently backhanded introduction, “Best known for her collaborations with…” Perhaps another collection of relatively short instrumental tracks, however gorgeous, was somehow too anonymous. Just like how — after a few years in the working world — we don’t remember the great university professors, or even the excellent ones. Only those who lectured in their bare feet and brought their dogs to class. Leyfdu ljosinu should help out in this respect.
Guðnadóttir’s third album, Icelandic for “allow the light,” is cut into two installments but was clearly composed and intended as a single movement. (Opener “Prelude” trims about four minutes away from the rest, which clocks in at around 35 minutes. Such an oddly-placed digital marker was probably intended only for the requisite free download.) The arrangement — and from here we’ll only speak of Leyfdu ljosinu as a whole, irrespective of tracks — slowly builds from silence and single cello notes, through adagio harmonies and delicious patches of blank canvas. A whispered vocal loop appears: two-word, two-note melodies, first unedited and accompanied with a single, purring cello, but soon gaining momentum with echoes and slight permutations. This way a choir forms, and it is worth noting here that the album “was recorded live at the Music Research Centre, University of York, in January 2012.” In other words, the buoyant voices and the synthesis of the loops into a separate instrument were achieved in one take. Yet the processing is never used as structure, only as finishing.
The cello begins a gradual return somewhere around the midpoint, in sparse, slicing notes and spotlight accuracy. The specific weight of the first act gives way to a blurred urgency in the second, and for at least a few minutes the sum of string vibrations has a downright ambient fullness. Distinct notations come back into focus during the final minutes, with a punching, kinetic arrangement, a well-earned climax, and a few seconds of breath afterward. It is a long piece, and it doesn’t subdivide well. Much better to take it in during one uninterrupted 40-minute listen. It values colour over pattern, tension over relief. Meaning those already familiar with Guðnadóttir may prefer Without Sinking on strictly aesthetic grounds. But for those of us who are new to her work, and for those who were hoping the follow-up would be something more along the lines of a manifesto, Leyfdu ljosinu is unforgettable. [Fred Nolan]

Experimedia (USA):
A lovely album of cello/voice/electronics compositions by Hildur Gudnadottir recorded live at the Music Research Centre (University of York) in January of this year. Touch's press release notes that the original live recordings have not been edited as "to be faithful to time and space." The effect of this move is the establishment of a sense of intimacy and even immediacy in these glacially moving string compositions. The album begins with a brief string prelude before the centerpiece, "Allow The Light" takes center stage. Thirty-five minutes in length, the piece is really quite beautiful, with angelic, clarion vocals eclipsing beautiful string arrangements for cello. Midway through the piece its initial frailness gives way to a more spectacular and assertive movement, building to a frenzied mass of bowed strings and booming electricity clouds. Impressive and immersive listening, and typically top-notch presentation by Touch. [Alex Cobb]

VITAL (Netherlands):
'Allow The Light' is what the title means, and its a live recording 'with no post tampering of the recordings', but its not played in a concert environment and without audience. So I am not sure what point has to be proven here, if any of course, but Hildur Gudnadottir is excellent player of the cello, electronics and voice. Following the short opening piece, aptly named 'Prelude', the main course is served, the title piece. For both her cello and voice, Gudnadottir uses loop devices to multi-layer her own playing and while at it, add more new layers - live. A method that is hardly new new these days and shocking, but unlike so many guitarists who keep doodling about with a few simple tunes, Gudnadottir crafts together a whole piece of humming voice, in tune and then slowly adds, little by little, her cello playing, slowly amassing, while voices are disappearing, ending in a grand finale. An excellent, somewhat moody and atmospheric piece of music. Why 'live without audience', or 'nopost tampering' are irrelevant questions once you heard this. There is not much else to say about this piece: simply a lovely direct piece with a great quality. If Gudnadottir plays concerts like this in front of real audiences: bring it on, I'd say. [FdW]

Off The Radar (France):
Cela ne parlera peut être pas à tout le monde, mais sur papier From The Mouth of The Sun est tout sauf un duo de debutants. Mieux, l'association entre Dag Rosenqvist et Aaron Martin a quelque chose de directement engageant. C'est sûrement que les deux hommes ont été responsables de disques boulversants : le premier nous avait tout simplement giflé avec The Black Sun Transmissions sous son pseudonyme Jasper TX, une leçon de drone/ambient grésillante/modern classical noir qui compte encore comme l'un des meilleurs de sa catégorie il y a tout juste un an ; le deuxième nous est connu pour sa magnifique collaboration avec Machinefabriek et sa plantureuse discographie. Et Woven Tide a tout de la promesse tenue. Tantôt limpide, tantôt bourdonnant, cet ensemble oscille entre modern classical lyrique et orchestration claire-obscure. Ses lignes sont explicites, le trait est assurément précis – grâce notamment à des balises rythmiques en trompe-l'œil. On passe de pièces en pièces comme dans un parcours éclairé à la bougie. C'est peut-être cet aspect populaire et pourtant tranchant qui fait de ces huit titres une si belle balade. Une pièce de référence pour les deux bougres, une de plus, qui se résume comme le croisement entre le meilleur d'Hildur Gudnadottir et la série Xerrox d'Alva Noto. [Simon Bomans]

Heathen Harvest (USA):
Recorded live at the University of York, one woman and a cello was all it look to make this album. Iceland’s Hildur Guðnadóttir will most likely ring bells with the Heathen Harvest readership for her work in Throbbing Gristle and Scandinavian experimental/electronic ensemble “múm”, but here she is alone in another of her solo efforts. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know Hildur was making her own albums but Leyfðu Ljósinu is her eighth such work since 2006. Don’t let the fact that this is a ‘live’ release generate the idea that you’ll be able to hear the whoop and hiss of an audience in the background – far from it – Leyfðu Ljósinu is a live album in a studio sense only, which means the whole thing was done in one take, free from editing and overdubs. There is no background noise, there is no interference. Everything you hear in this work is purely organic, recorded using nothing else but a SoundField ST450 Ambisonic and two Neumann U87 microphones. It is an exquisitely intimate work.
The idea of intimacy should always create a feeling of the up-close and personal, and this concept is extremely relevant here. The choice to use microphones rather than DI’ing jack-to-jack means that the whole recording has a tactile reality to it. Everything seems so immediate in its proximity that you can feel the soft air wake from the brush of the bow on the cello, sense each scratch of a string and hold each vocal exhalation sensually close. Guðnadóttir is an expert in the multifaceted, through clever use of electronic manipulation she is able to overlay her own vocals and cellowork several times through the album during the live setting, giving the album a feel of the singular and multiple. But even these multiple overlays still seem to retain a personal rather than epic air to them. This album is not about the grandiose, it is about the minimalist, and Guðnadóttir is always careful to ensure that this remains the case throughout the record’s 39 minutes.
Technically, Leyfðu Ljósinu is all about texture. It is an extremely tangible album. Musically, it’s a journey from a heavenly ambient realm into somewhere wholly darker. The title literally translates as “Allow The Light”, an extremely curious title for such an eerie piece of work. Starting off with the tantalisingly slow and meditative repetition of some cello chords, the album very gradually descends into somewhere supernatural and unsettling through the use of repeated sung vocal patterns, musical ambience and eventually, energetic, angst-ridden cellowork. What begins as something meditative and warm snakes its way through sonic pathways of despair and doom towards an angered and violent conclusion before dropping everything and leaving us naked in a miasma of our own bewilderment. Such is the intensity of the closing moments that we almost end up feeling sonically ravished and left for dead, as our perpetrator slits us with her last chords, jilts us in an instant and leaves us at the crest of our own climax. As an audience, for all intents and purposes, we have been very much used.
Leyfðu Ljósinu is masterful at its approach to the minimalist. The album seems to go through four distinct ‘waves’, each building on the last and getting gradually more intense until the closing cadences. It’s hard to accurately categorise this work, but though it’s a classical album in ingredients, it retains a feel of the ambient and dark ambient. The layers are so lifelike and well-pieced together that it reminds me of the truly excellent work Shutûn by the collaboration Troum & All Sides, such is its genius at meshing long ambient sections and giving them their own personality.
More than anything though, Leyfðu Ljósinu is a visual work. The sounds here are so intimate and undeniably real that the album takes on a graphic element. It retains an ability to aggrandize certain colours and associations which will be very personal to each listener. It creates such a sentience within the audience’s psyche that it almost runs its own story in filmic effect, transcending the aural layers into which it’s pressed. On the surface, the title of “Allow The Light” may refer to coaxing the brighter layers out from this piece of minimalist classical music, but more than that it’s a plea for us to see the beauty in everything musically dark. Leyfðu Ljósinu stands proudly in its own category as one of the most authentic, emotive and vivid works in ambient music this year. It lacks nothing.

Black Audio (net):
The Touch label has always been synonymous with the word ‘quality’ and once again this is no exception. ‘Leyfdu ljosinu’, or ‘Allow the Light’ is a live recording with no audience, recorded at the University of York in January 2012.
I love the idea behind the concept; no post tampering of the recordings using three microphones for natural delay; the end result is nothing short of stunning.
I was utterly transfixed at this release from the moment I hit play; there is something utterly ghostly about the production as a whole, with soaring beautiful female vocals, cello and light electronics and is ‘other worldly’ if I had to try pigeon hole it.
The quality of the instrumentation played and composition is utterly spectacular and quite simply nothing like I have really sat down to listen to before; tension builds towards the latter half of the title track with a real sense of urgency and drive. You get he feeling a real story is being told here with a polar opposite approach to the lighter sections balancing out the more hectic momentum that builds throughout, blending the two with utter perfection.
I absolutely adored this release and really wanted more; this is the only downside being you get 40 minutes spread over two tracks and what would have set this off would be track markers along the way so you can skip to the parts you want to play most.
I suppose there can’t be any real complaint if that’s all that is wrong with an album; I really wish there were more releases out there with so little to grumble at; Utterly glorious.

All Music (USA):
Cellist and singer Hildur Guðnadóttir has worked with an impressively broad range of musicians over the years, writing choral arrangements for Throbbing Gristle (yes, you read that right), touring with Animal Collective, collaborating directly with groups like the Hafler Trio, Nico Muhly, and Ben Frost. Leyfðu Ljósinu, however, is a completely solo project. Guðnadóttir has created a strange, beautiful, and slightly frightening composition for this rather brief album. First, she plays an entirely acoustic, four-minute-long "Prelude" composed of sustained cello tones (which sound as if they've been minimally looped using a delay mechanism). Then, for the half-hour-long title track, she does something similar, but with a major difference: this time using the looping or delay mechanism much more aggressively, she begins with a few layers of sustained cello tones and quiet (possibly wordless, but it's hard to say) vocals, creating a soft cloud of grey timbres and pitch arrangements that move through a slow harmonic progression. For the first 15 minutes, the musical texture remains open and almost ethereal. During the second half, the cello lines become deeper, rougher, and more aggressive, piling up on each other relentlessly until all apparent harmonic movement ceases and the soft grey clouds become portentous thunderheads. It wouldn't be exactly accurate to say that the tension builds during this second half of the piece -- there's no harmonic tension, anyway -- but the intensity surely does. By the end, the listener is both disconcerted and somewhat exhilarated. [Rick Anderson]

The album that preceded last year's outstanding Without Sinking album, Mount A was originally billed under the Lost In Hildurness moniker and now gets a remastered reissue under Hildur Gudnadottir's real name. Despite the often expansive sound, all instruments are played by Hildur herself, including cello, viola, piano, vibraphone, zither and gamelan. Acting as a one-woman orchestra, this talented Icelandic musician and composer manages to craft something that's at once big and intimate. At the time of Mount A's initial release it would have been likely for Gudnadottir to be predomi…
HILDUR GUDNADOTTIR - Iridescence, Touch
An addendum to her exquisite Without Sinking album, 'Iridescence' is a wonderful eleven minute blast of Hildur Gudnadottir's uniquely emotive music for cello and electronics. The piece gradually creeps further and further into the electronic domain, beginning in a haze of minor-key, multitracked strings, only to dissolve into the air as a bitcrushing algorithm takes hold. By the piece's conclusion, the overwhelming, gushing melancholy of it all is displaced by a strangely mechanical network of overtones and harmonic spillage, making 'Iridescence' all the more elegiac. Brilliant.
HILDUR GUDNADOTTIR - Without Sinking, Touch
Hildur Gudnadottir is a gifted cellist with an impressive history of collaborations that includes work with Pan Sonic, Throbbing Gristle, Johann Johannsson, Skúli Sverrisson and Ben Frost among many others, as well as being a member of Iceland's notable Kitchen Motors collective. She first came to our attention on Pan Sonic's epic 'Katodivaihe' album from a couple of years back, her intense, blackened cello adding another dimension to Vainio and Väisänen's icy tundras. "Without Sinking" (her second solo album and first for the Touch label) is, however, by far the most cohesi…
 Hildur Guðnadóttir is a gifted Icelandic cellist who is best known for her collaborations with Pan Sonic and post rock group múm. Along with múm, Sigur Rós, Jóhann Jóhannsson and Skúli Sverrisson, Guðnadóttir has helped breathe life into Iceland’s vibrant experimental music scene. “Without Sinking” —her second solo album and her first on the Touch label— is a wonderful addition, one that cements her status among this group of gifted musician-composers. In “Without Sinking”, she’s produced a deeply moving album that should reach a large audience—from orchestral music enthusiasts to fans of experimental electronica.
The album features Guðnadóttir’s cello, which is layered, lightly processed, and overdubbed to create a rich and melancholy musical tapestry. Collaborations with Skúli Sverrisson, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and Guðni Franzson are integrated in an organic way, matching the cello’s somber tone and creating a sense of slow movement.
Guðnadóttir aimed to create an album that contrasted lighter, spacious compositions with denser and heavier compositions. She sought, in her own words, “to create a sky and cloud-like feeling” throughout the album. Lighter compositions foreground individual notes that float, Guðnadóttir states, “like single clouds in a clear sky.” These are contrasted by denser compositions that seek to evince a “more thundercloud-like” feeling. There is a pensive, somber, and almost wintry touch to most of the compositions. So even though she describes her aim as creating a sky and cloud-like feeling, perhaps it is more apt to state that her album conjures images of frigid and inaccessible—but beautiful—arctic landscapes.
“Without Sinking”, as such, was never intended to feature memorable musical phrases. There are few identifiable “hooks.” In fact, only a few tracks have clear melodic lines—“Erupting Light,” “Opaque,” “Ascent,” and “Into Warmer Air.” Some might find this disconcerting, as compositions lacking strong melodic progressions seem better fit for cinematic scores than for a standalone album. But this only adds to the album’s aesthetic charm. By creating compositions that emphasize space and depth, Guðnadóttir draws the listener into Without Sinking’s emotional musical landscape.
She hooked me immediately. The album’s first track, “Elevation,” features a languid cello build over a soft, pulsing background. While slow, “Elevation” is both graceful and beautiful in its restraint. The following two tracks, “Overcast” and “Erupting Light,” continue this sense of unhurried build. With “Ascent,” perhaps my favourite track, Guðnadóttir explores both the cello’s lower and higher registers to dramatic effect. In its higher register, the cello moans a melancholic but gorgeous tone, reminding me why I see the cello as the king of string instruments. Other excellent tracks include “Opaque” and “Into Warmer Air.” In both of these tracks, Guðnadóttir quickens the pace and shapes a percussive background, over which the cries of her cello seem to soar.
Without Sinking is a fantastic album. It is deeply engaging, and is cohesive in its musical narrative. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest store to pick it up. [Jeremy Yellen]

self-titled (USA):
We get a lot of crap CDs at the self-titled offices. But once in a while, a pleasant surprise slips into our promo stack. Here’s a recent delivery that knocked the S/T staff on its collective ass.
The Vibe: Incredibly moving cello pieces from a Storsveit Nix Noltes member who’s worked with such fellow sound sculptors as Throbbing Gristle, Pan Sonic, Ben Frost and múm.
RIYL: Stirring strings; Stephen O’Malley’s approval; long walks on the beach…in the middle of winter
The Silent Ballet (USA):
As aficionados of this site know, I’m a huge Múm fan, and as such, I like to keep track of what all the members and former members are recording. This does not mean, however, that I like artists just because they are associated with Múm.Hildur Gudnadóttir (who has also recorded with Pan Sonic and Throbbing Gristle) has proved maddening in recent years, an artist who has, in my opinion, continually failed to come into her own. Her debut album, Mount A (recorded as Lost in Hildurness) was experimental, loosely formed, shape-shifting, and dissonant. She played a number of instruments on Mount A, but her primary instrument – the cello – was too frequently overshadowed by secondary sound sources. This failure was compounded on her collaboration with B.J. Nilsen and Stillupsteypa: here, the cello was mulched and processed to the point of unrecognizability.
Without Sinking is different. This time, the formula is right, the proportions perfect, the guests well-integrated. The most famous of these is Jóhann Jóhannsson, who plays organ and processor on three tracks. Other tracks feature bass, clarinet and bass clarinet, instruments that match well with the cello’s lower registers.Without Sinking is, in fact, an exercise in lowness, and as such is already different from most albums in the field of modern composition. Without airy counterparts such as flute, trumpet or violin, the listening experience becomes one of compression, of inevitability, of slow descent. One feels the hand of fate on the proceedings – neither cruel nor arbitrary, but steady and scripted, even apologetic.
This is not to say that Without Sinking is depressing or oppressive. On the mood scale, it still ranks above dirge, drone and black metal, but is is more fog and fugue than cloud and carousel. The greyness of the cover – the silt, the sea – and the obscured sun of the interior art are apt metaphors for the sounds found within. Even the track titles seem carefully chosen: “Overcast”, “Opaque”, “Aether". And yet, moments of tentative revelation are scattered about like the germs of hope, the beginnings of an idea, the flutterings of understanding. These moments tend to arrive in the foam of identifiable melodies, bearing such titles as “Into Warmer Air” and “Erupting Light”.
Perhaps Gudnadóttir is herself struggling with the question, “How do I live without sinking?” It is a legitimate question to ask, especially in her native Iceland, which in the course of the last twelve months has gone from being the happiest, healthiest and seemingly most stable nation on earth to bankruptcy, rioting and rampant unemployment. But it is also a valid question for those in any circumstance who are just barely hanging on: people for whom airy melodies and false cheer might seem unobservant and unfeeling. Such people might yearn for understanding, for empathy, for someone to say, “Yes, I know it might not get better. But I’m not ready to give in to they greyness, even in the middle of the ocean with no boat or buoy in sight.” Gudnadóttir gets it – that words are ultimately ineffective, and crumble in the face of feelings – that some feelings can only be conjured by music – and that music sometimes speaks louder than words.
In this sense, one might consider Gudnadóttir the anti-Múm, until one realizes that both are approaching the same dock from different angles. Múm uses unusual juxtapositions, non-sensical phrases and seeming exuberance to mock a world that makes no sense, while Gudnadóttir seeks to identify the world’s hidden underpinnings, the ley lines, the patterns of the gods. Múm laughs in order to keep from crying, and Gudnadóttir cries in order to stay sane. Without answers, it’s hard to have faith; but on Without Sinking, she declares that she still has faith in the questions. [Richard Allen]
Aquarius Exclusives (USA):
Hildur Gudnadottir has such a way with the cello, able to create such utterly moving music that is filled with nuance and texture but that is also so deeply emotional. Hailing from Iceland, Gudnadottir's resume includes collaborations and partnerships with the likes of Pan Sonic, Mum, Sigur Ros, Angel, BJ Nilsen, etc. It's so nice to get to hear her take center stage, carefully crafting a sound that is about as moody and beautiful as music really gets. Perfect for those eternal gray days we are faced with so often in San Francisco, this is a record we put on when we just want to get lost in the fog and haze. There is very nice and subtle processing throughout the album as well, and here and there Gudnadottir tries her hand at the zither with stunning results. Johann Johansson adds organ on a few tracks as well, and fans of HIS best work as well as music by folks like Sylvain Chauveau, Philip Glass, Michael Cashmore, Joan Jeanrenaud and Colleen should for sure check this out. Truly elegant and intensely resonant. And thus highly recommended!
tinymixtapes (USA):
One glimpse into Hildur Gudnadóttir’s discography is enough to reveal the breadth and versatility of the Icelandic cellist and composer’s musicianship. Included among her more high-profile works are collaborations with Angel and Pan Sonic, as well as guest appearances with fellow Icelanders múm and Jóhann Jóhannsson. In addition, she has supported Animal Collective on tour as a member of Stórsveit Nix Noltes, has composed music for theater, film, and dance, and has co-written a choir score with Throbbing Gristle for the Derek Jarmen film In the Shadow of the Sun. While she has consistently added a richness and emotional depth to these collaborative works, Gudnadóttir has only recently begun to branch out as a solo artist. Adopting the moniker Lost in Hildurness, she released her debut album, Mount A, back in 2007. It’s a highly reflective and exploratory work that beautifully showcases Gudnadóttir’s understanding and love for the cello’s expressive capabilities. On Without Sinking, her first release with Touch, Gudnadóttir drops her pseudonym and demonstrates an emerging confidence in her individual sound.
In terms of methodology and mood, Without Sinking essentially picks up where Mount A left off. Once again, the pieces are dominated by the layered and overlapping sounds of Gudnadóttir’s cello, as they combine to create a generally austere and melancholic atmosphere. However, when compared to the majority of Mount A, there are moments throughout Without Sinking when Gudnadóttir opts for a less dense and amorphous approach. Tracks such as “Erupting Light” and “Into Warmer Air,” for example, possess an uncharacteristic forward momentum with clear melodic lines at the forefront. Despite these more traditional, song-based moments, Without Sinking still finds Gudnadóttir utilizing her strengths as she weaves dense and encompassing textures using little more than the natural sound of her instrument.
Also in contrast to Mount A — which was under her sole control until the mixing process — Gudnadóttir has decided to invite guest musicians into the creative process this time around. Contributing bass, organ, and clarinet respectively, Skúli Sverrisson, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and Hildur’s father Gudni Franzson were given the freedom to add their parts once Without Sinking’s tracks were written and composed. For the most part, these contributions are relatively subtle, serving only to heighten the impact of Gudnadóttir’s cello. The one exception is Franzson’s appearance on “Aether,” which is certainly one of the album’s highlights. On this track, the interaction between Gudnadóttir’s zither and Franzson’s delicate clarinet melodies becomes the focal point, as the cello gently rises and falls in the background, adding dizzying texture and color. Such moments reveal the delightful possibilities that may arise if Gudnadóttir were to continue to embrace her collaborative spirit within the framework of her solo material.
Overall, Without Sinking’s most impressive quality remains Gudnadóttir’s continued use of classical methods and instrumentation to emphasize the experimental notion of ‘sound’ over ‘song.’ While contemporary musicians seeking a similar end result may rely on modern digital effects and processing, Gudnadóttir leaves her instrument relatively untouched, allowing it to interact with the natural acoustics of the recording space. It is through this general technique that she achieves her goal of finding a connection between the experimental and classical world, and, in turn, produces a highly expressive and absorbing album in the process. [Stephen Bezan]
fluid (UK):
‘Without Sinking’ gets this weeks fav album on Fluid and deservedly so… Taking stringed instrument experimentation to a new level, Hildur produces what has to be one of the most beautiful albums so far for 2009.
Popmatters (USA):
Sometimes it seems that the output from Scandinavian composers-cum-ambient musicians is so vast that it’s hard to find an entry point into the work. Jóhann Johannsson, Valgeir Sigurõsson, mùm, Sigur Røs, and amiina, to name a few, have left definitive stamps on the ambient Icelandic music that is nearly its own genre by now. On Without Sinking, Hildur Gudnadóttir sheds her supporting role and comes to the forefront, armed with a vision as large as her cello.
Fans of the aforementioned musicians will certainly enjoy Without Sinking, but the album is also a fine offering for those who enjoy Kaija Saariaho or other musicians whose work deals with redefining and recontextualizing the cello. Here, the stringed instrument takes on the lead that is often filled by synthesizers or other electronics, and the acoustic instrumentation never sounds a bit out of place.
Without Sinking is a somber album, but it’s not necessarily sad or depressing. At least, not always. Rather, it conjures an endless expanse where possibilities gradually open up and fantasy worlds begin. The opening track, “Elevation”, begins building such a world with sustained cello notes held over quieter, quicker ones. This song has a gentle pulse throughout, a sense of breath forming its spine and lending a graceful sense of urgency. By the song’s end, the listener is fully in Gudnadóttir’s territory, and she doesn’t offer many opportunities for escape. Unlike many post-rock songs where a quickening tempo indicates a grand takeoff, “Overcast” displays Gudnadóttir’s talent for stair-stepping up the drama while leaving the listener firmly planted on the ground. “Erupting Light” is the first song where listeners begin to realize just how good Gudnadóttir is. Her cello is deft and flashy, but it is still part of the same somber, monochromatic landscape. “Circular” escalates the drama with the cello holding notes for a long time, resulting in hypoxic suspense as other instruments act in the background, but are unable to be deciphered over the cello’s hum.
After “Circular”, a heavy feeling of catharsis and fatigue lingers, only partially soothed by the opening notes of “Ascent”, which dips into lower notes than previously heard on the album. The lower tones form a bedrock for the cello’s cracking ice, and the listener is tasked with holding on to both sounds. Then one or the other falls away starkly but soon returns. Like many of the songs on Without Sinking, “Ascent” feels longer than it is, not because it is dull and repetitious, but because the space between notes is so leisurely that it doesn’t seem possible for a whole song to be accomplished in four or five minutes. Yet, somehow, it is, though “Opaque” speeds up the pace a bit. It maintains the dueling cello phrases Gudnadóttir does so well, but the accelerated speed helps them become more terrestrial than subterranean—it’s easy to see “Opaque” as twisted tree limbs embracing each other fiercely.
There is a wintry silence preceding the harpsichord twinkle that launches “Aether”, the closest thing to a lullaby this album features. With a music box-like sound and strategic silence, “Aether” is a welcome comfort despite the comfort being grim. Whereas the rest of the album spells certain death, “Aether” is the promise that it will be painless. This is enough to pass for optimism on Without Sinking.
“Whiten” returns to the slow drama and low tones of earlier songs on the album, the bass notes ringing out like foghorns while the treble clef sounds the same relentless interval before it too elongates and sprawls over the bass. “Into Warmer Air” satisfies more standard expectations of classical cello, though four minutes in, producer Valgeir Sigurõsson makes his touch audible with his trademark fuzz of gentle chaos. “Unveiled” spends more time in the bass clef than any other songs on the album, and it is pleasant to hear the higher pitches counterpoint the lower ones for once. As the song grows, all its lines expand and come together and then fade into a single cello. And then the album is over. There is never any musical showdown announcing the climax, and the album is better for that—Gudnadóttir’s refusal to conform to the Freytag Pyramid is a nice change that actually lends the album a greater musical resonance than many which shatter in prolonged musical fight scenes where instruments clash and triumph for minutes on end.
Gudnadóttir is to be commended for very many aspects of this, her second solo album and first for Touch. She sets herself apart from her contemporaries by using slowness to create various intensities that generally only happen with faster music. Further, the album is remarkably cohesive and feels like a narrative despite having no lyrics.
Foxydigitalis (US):
Hildur Ingveldardóttir Gudnadóttir is a classically trained Icelandic cellist/composer who is a key member in the neu-Icelandic music scene, centered around Kitchen Motors, a Reykjavík-based think tank, record label and art collective. While Sigur Ros and Bjork get all the press, Gudnadóttir has quietly amassed an impressive discography via collaborations with múm, Pan Sonic, and Angel. This is her sophomore solo effort, following her debut, “Mount A” (12 Tónar, 2006) released as Lost In Hildurness.
These ten multi-layered, contemplative, cello-based ruminations create haunting, evocative soundscapes that impart a warmth and soothing glow to images of Iceland’s sparse, frozen landscapes. Tracks like “Overcast” paint mental pictures of grey, rainy days, while the weeping, mournful, “Circular” features her occasional zither flourishes. “Ascent,” as it title suggests, evokes an almost religious aura.
The mood is elevated somewhat by the forceful, stalking “Opaque,” while “Aether” cranks up the sedatives with a lovely and soothing zither and clarinet duet. An album of infinite beauty and warmth, “Without Sinking” is the perfect title for this collection, as it captures that in-between state of treading water, creating a sense of both anticipation and relief that help is on the way. 8/10 [Jeff Penczak]
HILDUR GUDNADOTTIR - Without Sinking (Limited Vinyl Edition), Touch
**Now available on vinyl for the 1st time in a deluxe gatefold sleeve, with 3 bonus tracks not on the CD** Hildur Gudnadottir is a gifted cellist with an impressive history of collaborations that includes work with Pan Sonic, Throbbing Gristle, Johann Johannsson, Skúli Sverrisson and Ben Frost among many others, as well as being a member of Iceland's notable Kitchen Motors collective. She first came to our attention on Pan Sonic's epic 'Katodivaihe' album from a couple of years back, her intense, blackened cello adding another dimension to Vainio and Väisän…
Out of stock

The album that preceded last year's outstanding Without Sinking album, Mount A was originally billed under the Lost In Hildurness moniker and now gets a remastered reissue under Hildur Gudnadottir's real name. Despite the often expansive sound, all instruments are played by Hildur herself, including cello, viola, piano, vibraphone, zither and gamelan. Acting as a one-woman orchestra, this talented Icelandic musician and composer manages to craft something that's at once big and intimate. At the time of Mount A's initial release it would have been likely for Gudnadottir to be predominantly…
HILDUR GUDNADOTTIR - Without Sinking, Touch
Hildur Gudnadottir is a gifted cellist with an impressive history of collaborations that includes work with Pan Sonic, Throbbing Gristle, Johann Johannsson, Skúli Sverrisson and Ben Frost among many others, as well as being a member of Iceland's notable Kitchen Motors collective. She first came to our attention on Pan Sonic's epic 'Katodivaihe' album from a couple of years back, her intense, blackened cello adding another dimension to Vainio and Väisänen's icy tundras. "Without Sinking" (her second solo album and first for the Touch label) is, however, by far the most cohesive and…
Out of stock

BACK IN STOCK! **Comes in a deluxe special booklet designed by Ilpo Väisänen of Pan Sonic** A collaboration between Pan Sonic's Ilpo Vaisanen, Schneider TM's Dirk Dresselhaus and Hildur Gudnadottir of Lost In Hildurness, this incredible album finds the trio spinning a fine web of dark drones and digital noise oscillations in a fashion that's clearly got a lot in common with fellow Editions Mego labelmates KTL. Angel relies upon a similarly organic relationship between doomy, metallic abrasion and avant-garde minimalism, with computer manipulations wea…
Out of stock
Now here's an unexpected treat, a full length droning collection of sound from the deft talents of three of Scandinavia's most intriguing sound artists. Hildur Ingveldardóttir Gudnadóttir may be better known to many of you as the cellist who used to be with Mum, or possibly as part of Jóhann Jóhannsson's band, or more recently the guest cellist on Pan Sonic's latest record... so she keeps herself busy then. Here we see her team up with regular Finnish collaborators Stilluppsteypa and Touch's BJ Nilsen for an exhaustingly beautiful collection of spacious cello…
Out of stock

Hildur Guðnadóttir – King’s Place, London, 27/02/10


Photographs by Sebastien Dehesdin
Even in the rarefied world of “alternative” music, solo cellists are a rare breed. With the exception of experimental drone-meister Alexander Tucker, it’s hard to think of many practitioners of the oversized violin that hit out in their own right, so it’s refreshing to see Hildur Guðnadóttir step into the spotlight and provide a richer, more stately alternative to the Andrew Birds and Owen Palletts of this world.

The theme of tonight is “The Resonance of Music With Water,” and employing no more than her instrument and looping software, the Icelander evokes the many aspects of that most protean liquid with exquisite skill. Whilst some compositions are slighter and more subtle, shimmering like sunlight on a calm sea, others are more tempestuous, drawing well upon her subterranean vibrato. One piece has her striking the C string with urgent intensity, overlaying the staccato rhythms with a melody line tinged with Middle Eastern influences; another takes a much more experimental approach, looping layers of atonal noise created by swirling her bow around the cello’s bridge. Even at her most emphatic Hildur is the embodiment of cultured serenity, preferring to convey her passion through her music rather than showboating dramatics- it’s just a shame this reserve stretched to her sartorial choices too, given her spectacular costumes at Fever Ray last year.
One fears this kind of music falls too firmly in the neo-classical camp to get much attention from your average Pitchfork-reading indie kid- certainly, it’s a world away from the Hildur’s twee-pop melodising in Múm. But if you’re a fan of beautiful music, and willing to experience something a little different, you owe it to yourself to give Ms. Guðnadóttir a fair hearing.



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