Kako smireno promatrati raspadanje svijeta i osjećati se dobro? Slušajući švedsku neoklasiku.
Watching the world slowly destroy itself requires a certain kind of soundtrack. A bit melancholic, a little feeble, yet somehow serene. This music plays on, as the news of the day scroll by: fires, scandals, murders, and wars. One of the ancient Chinese proverbs, and actually a curse, states – “may you live in interesting times”. It is the second of the three curses in severity, following the one which proclaims: “may you find what you are looking for.” But staying detached from the bombardment of negative information is not something I can do with ease. What I can do instead, is put on my headphones. This is where that soundtrack comes in. Neutral in tone, major in scale, and soft in its texture, the latest release by Library Tapes is the today’s selection for my headphone commute. Nevermind all that unbearable news of insanity which feels like its going to suffocate me with its dark toxic cloud. I’ve got my music – and the Sun Peeking Through.
David Wenngren is not a stranger to the serene modern classical genre, composing gentle piano pieces, which reflect the sun, the summer, and the skies, for over seven years now. I’ve been a big fan Wenngren’s work since his debut, Alone In The Bright Lights Of A Shattered Life (Resonant, 2005), and have especially come to love this artist through his sixth studio album, A Summer Beneath The Trees (Make Mine Music, 2008). In January of the same year, this Swedish pianist launched his own label, Auetic, on which we see this latest album released once again. In the past couple of years, Wenngren took more to collaborating with other artists. We watched him play with Nils Frahm Live At NBI (Sonic Pieces, 2008), work with Danny Norbury on Le Lendemain‘s Fires (Home Normal, 2009), and pair with Kane Ikin on Strangers (Kesh, 2012). For his eighth studio release as Library Tapes, Wenngren invites Julia Kent, Sarah Kemp and Danny Norbury to contribute the solo string sections to his blissed out ambient tracks.
Once again we find Wenngren behind the piano, playing soft and tranquil chords over the poised and placid strings. And it’s just these two instruments (well, really three – piano, cello, and violin), that conceive short, acoustic, meditative pieces within a single harmonized tonality. Doused in reverb and lo-fi stereo field manipulation, the music swirls in the vapors of hot summer haze, damp lazy clouds and dazed murky sun. As usual, the piano and the strings work very well together, but in the hands of these talented musicians they do so quite effortlessly, as an extension of themselves. The album title, and the titles of the ten tracks, hint at the changes of seasons, the passing and going, as this virtual and physical world that we live in continues to spin. Blending elements of minimal ambiance (ala 12k output) and organic classicism (ala Sonic Pieces catalog), the album perfectly fits among my favorite releases of the year, and is indeed a contender for one of the best. I can never have enough of this music – so please, please don’t stop! Recommended for fans of the above mentioned artists, as well as Goldmund, Peter Broderick, Eluvium, Greg Haines, A Winged Victory For The Sullen and From The Mouth Of The Sun.- reviews.headphonecommute.com/
David Wenngren's Library Tapes now resembles something of a neo-classical supergroup with the addition of Danny Norbury (cello), Sarah Kemp (violin), and Julia Kent (cello) for 7th album, 'Sun Peeking Through'. Wenngren mans piano, rolling off solemn notes against the rarified atmospheres created by his collaborators, tending towards unprocessed acoustic recordings which really allow the grain and fingerprint of each player to shine through, while at other point subtle application of post-production accentuates the players dynamic, and at other transforms them into dreamlike memories of themselves. It's all very lovely and quite somnolent, so probably not best experienced when driving a JCB or manning a chainsaw.- boomkat
Interview with Library Tapes
Hey David, how is life in Gävle? Maybe next time I’m in Stockholm, I’ll have to drive up for a day!
I was born in Gävle but I live in Eskilstuna so you’d have to drive west for one hour to reach me. I will head up to Gävle for my birthday in a few days though. I’m guessing everything will be as normal though. Pretty and quite.
I believe this is our third interview! We spoke in 2008 after A Summer Beneath The Trees, and then in 2010 after Like Green Grass Against A Blue Sky. How would you say your sound have changed through the years?
I guess mainly the instrumentation. A summer beneath the trees had a lot more going on with Peter Broderick and Danny Norbury adding a lot of different sounds to it. Like Green Grass Against A Blue Sky was more focused on the piano and the latest album Sun Peeking Through has quite a lot of strings on it, though it’s a bit more stripped down than A Summer Beneath The Trees.
Yet, when I hear an album, there’s that distinctive Library Tapes signature characteristic. Even the album titles carry the same feeling. What is the central theme behind Library Tapes output, as opposed to your other collaborative work?
I guess melancholy is the red thread to some of the releases are a bit more hopeful than others. All songs on the Library Tapes albums starts out with my ideas and feelings. They may be taken in a new direction when collaborating of course, but they always starts out with me as opposed to other collaborative work. Of course, sometime they also start with an idea of mine but most of the times the sounds will travel back and forth and take on new shapes and meanings.
I know that you’ve previously worked with Danny Norbury in the past (on Le Lendemain). But how did you meet Julia Kent and Sarah Kemp?
I’m a big fan of their work. With some of the songs for the new album I really wanted that feeling I get when listening to Sarah’s project Brave Timbers. It always reminds me of late summer nights.
Do you have any plans on releasing albums by other artists on your Auetic label?
I’ve released one album by Annelies Monseré called Marit. It’s a lovely minimal singer/songwriter album. It’s not very likely I’ll release anything I’m not involved with in the future though. It just takes up too much time to get it done right and the record industry is in such bad shape that it’s pretty much impossible to make it work.
What kind of microphone do you use to record your piano, and what is its placement, if it’s not a secret?
It depends where I record as I don’t have an acoustic piano at home. I don’t have a standard way of doing the recordings and there’s nothing mysterious or interesting about the process to share really.
What? You don’t even have a piano at home? How come?
The apartment we live in is too small, and even if we could fit one in here I’m guessing our neighbours wouldn’t be too pleased. So sadly I just use a digital piano at home.- reviews.headphonecommute.com/
I made it for you (2012) streaming
- Nov 2011
Library Tapes was formed in 2004 by David Wenngren and Per Jardsell.
They did two albums togheter for the Resonant label before Per quit
the band in 2006.
In 2007 David released ”Höstluft”, an album consisting of solo piano and
field recordings on Make Mine Music and in the same year he started
working togheter with Danny Norbury and Peter Broderick. Danny played
cello and saw on ”Sketches” and ”A summer beneath the trees” while Peter
played many different instruments on”A summer beneath the trees” and on
the ”Fragment” EP that was released in 2008 by Kning Disk.
In 2010 David released his fifth Library Tapes album “Like green grass against
a blue sky” on his own label, Auetic. In the same year Auetic also re-released
the two first Library Tapes albums.
In the summer of 2012 the sixth Library Tapes album was released. It’s called
“Sun peeking through” and features Julia Kent and Danny Norbury on cello and
Sarah Kemp on violin.
Besides Library Tapes David also makes music under his own name as well as
Birch & Meadow.
Other projectsDavid Wenngren
David have released one solo album so far on the Auetic label in 2009. He did
also release a collaboration album with Christopher Bissonnette on Home Normal
at the end 2011 and with Kane Ikin on Kesh in early 2012.
Birch & Meadow
Birch & Meadow consists of David Wenngren and Sara Forslund. On their first album togheter
called Butterflies and graves they mix drones with layered vocal melodies and harmonies.
Music can be found at http://www.birchandmeadow.com
Murralin Lane (David Wenngren & Ylva Wiklund) have released one album so far,
”Our house is on the wall”, on the 12k label.
Le Lendemain consists of David and Danny Norbury. Danny had already contributed
to the Library Tapes releases ”Sketches” and ”A summer beneath the trees” before,
and in 2009 they decided to make an album togheter. It’s called ”Fires” and was released
on Home Normal later on that year.