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Atmosphériques, Vol. 1 / Iceland Symphony Orchestra

Atmosphériques, Vol. 1 / Iceland Symphony Orchestra

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At the risk of getting doxxed by my musician colleagues, I’m going to divulge a dark truth about classical music: it’s never as captivating or molecule-altering for anyone as it is for us on stage.Which is why I often find classical records, especially those of the orchestral persuasion, so underwhelming. So not … immediate. Which is why I am approaching zealot status in my admiration for Sono Luminus and the way in which it submerges listeners within reach of the Atlantis that is the on-stage experience. Which is why, save for live performance, the often inimitable new-music originating in, or in proximity to, Iceland (homeland to an unreasonable percentage of the composers living rent-free in my headphones for more than a decade) has found its most ardent advocate and most clarion amplifier in Winchester, Virginia. Certainly its exceptional national orchestra has. Despite a bewildering insistence by journalists to characterize music written by those with Icelandic surnames as a monolith, the entries on this tracklist are as singular as hand blown glass. The inclusion of American sonic clairvoyant Missy Mazzoli is a helpful geographic foil here, but there is one element fusing all of these inventions: Your person is about to feel minuscule or massive, by contrast to – or motivated by – these sounds. Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s music is often intimidatingly cyclopean, and Catamorphosis at times mimics the cosmic indifference of Lovecraft- ian deities, but it simultaneously introduces an iridescent hope I have not encountered before in her music. Mazzoli’s Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) catapults us from one end of a pulsing solar system to the other while Daníel Bjarnason’s From Space I Saw Earth improbably stretches perspective from earth to the moon and back, seeming somehow both terrestrial and paranormal within a single phrase. Maria Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir's Clockworking bridges a similar expanse, coexisting within the measurable realm of time-keeping … and the immeasurable realm of what occurs as the seconds tick by. Is Bára Gísladóttir's ÓS gasping in air, or desperately exhaling? Whatever your observation, and as with every waypoint on this illusory itinerary, the answer is likely: both.

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 2
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Sono Luminus
    • UPC/Barcode: 053479226709
    • Item Number: DSL-92267