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Thorvaldsdottir: In the Light of Air

Release date: 28 Aug 2015, DSL-92192


Michael Nicolas, Anna Þorvaldsdóttir, International Contemporary Ensemble


Anna Thorvaldsdóttir






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Press Quotes

Richard Allen, a closer listen, August 2015

Thorvaldsdottir honors both the contributions of the individual performers and their work as an ensemble. [ICE’s] control is impressive, their execution impeccable, and with compositions such as “In the Light of Air”, their exquisite talent shows through. In the Light of Air is another jewel in the crown of Thorvaldsdottir, who is quickly becoming one of the globe’s greatest composers. The future of modern composition is safe in her hands.

Maggie Molloy, Second Inversion, August 2015

Thorvaldsdottir is known for creating large sonic structures that reveal a vast variety of sustained sound materials—and both of these pieces are a perfect example of her visionary style. Throughout the album, her subtle timbral nuances, poetic textures, and lyrical gestures immerse the listener in austere, somber, and utterly spellbinding soundscapes.

Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition, October 2015

This collection…is simply atmospheric. I think anyone who appreciates the new breed of “contemporary” composers would greatly enjoy the work of Anna Thorvaldsdottir… [her] work is wonderful and worth exploring. The sound quality…is clear, resonant and beautiful as always. Highly recommended!

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YOU HAVE SELECTED:  Duration Price Price Price Price  
Anna Thorvaldsdottir: In the Light of Air 37:10   $
I. Luminance 07:49   $
II. Serenity 09:48   $
III. Existence 03:37   $
IV. Remembrance 15:56   $
Anna Thorvaldsdottir: Transitions 10:41   $
Transitions 10:41   $

Album Spectogram

Album information

In the Light of Air is a tetralogy of works by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottír that together form a unified structure, written for viola, cello, harp, piano, percussion & electronics.

The four main movements are titled Luminance, Serenity, Existence and Remembrance, and are connected by transitions to form a seamless flow throughout the work. The work also has a Prologue and an Epilogue. The work streams from one movement to the next through a flowing texture of sound materials and harmonies. The music material is constructed with a focus on subtle nuances and poetic textures that form lyrical gestures throughout the work. Melodies are generated just as much by sounds, gestures and nuances as by pitched lyrical material.

For the work, Anna designed an installation of metallic ornaments that are used in a solo in the percussion part in Remembrance. The ornaments, called Klakabönd in Icelandic (which translates as 'a bind of ice'), are created by Svana Jósepsdóttir. Parts of Remembrance insisted on echoing the melody of a song that Anna’s husband – Hrafn – wrote and dedicated to her in 2000.

In the Light of Air was written for the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in 2013/2014 as part of their ICElab.

Transitions, the final piece on the disc, was written for Michael Nicolas in 2014. The theme of the work is ‘man & machine’, and is represented in that the cellist becomes both in the piece – man & machine. Man indicates expression and emotion, and machine indicates maximal technical accuracy, a somewhat stricter approach to the music. These two approaches transition from one to another throughout the work.

Thorvaldsdottir: In the Light of Air

Category Chamber

Period Contemporary

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