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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Recurrence, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Bjarnason, New Music

The heavenly orbs rotate around us as we them, today as always. The Creation must have music, new music on this first workday of the New Year. Who are we to deny the cosmos? Not me. In compliance with the ongoing need for new sounds, I turn today to the Iceland Symphony Orchestra under conductor Daniel Bjarnason in a program of significant new orchestral music. The CD is named Recurrence (Sono Luminus DSL-92213). As is the case for most Sono Luminus releases these days, the music comes as two disks, one in high quality two-channel stereo, and one as a multi-channeled Blu-Ray Disc.

The music speaks to the very new inside us. Does it embody the work being done today, the very music that future humans may celebrate? Our times may cloak the vividly creative work taking place right now. You wont find mention of it on TV, not on your Smart Phone, not bursting out at you from the Internet. Yet it is happening. In Iceland? Why not? Is this music the "it" of future music minds and ears as they look back over the deep pockets of history? I do not know. It is not the music of the past. That's clear.

Each of the works on this program unfolds the previously mostly latent spatial-color possibilities of the modern symphony orchestra as viewed through dynamically creative sets of lenses. We after all dwell in space, in spaces that can sound with only the limitations of our own imaginations and the dedication of those who devote their lives to making it all so, to making it ring in our ears so that the black notes of the scores become aural worlds we can live within happily.

If that seems a bit much, I can tell you that the program on the CD brings to us a new opening onto the modern project, a music of space and color, drama and steady unfolding. These are works by composers you may not know well, or even not at all. Yet none of them feel the least bit anonymous.

So we have in toto Thuridur Jonsdottir's "Flow and Fusion," Hlynur A. Vilmarsson's "bd," Maria Huld Markan Sigfusdottir's "Aequora," Daniel Bjarnason's "Emergence," and Anna Thorvaldsdottir's "Dreaming."

All are more than 10 minutes in length. Some hover around 20 or so. Some pulsate with an orbital glow. All come out of the space of silence with an expanding universe of contemplative presence. Mystical, mysterious, mytho-poetic.

It is music that strikes you increasingly yet remains ineffable and enigmatic in energizing ways. It is a something that you could well overlook. Do not do that if you seek possible futurities in the modern orchestral present. There is a lot to sink into here. And come back to. Like looking at a patch of sand on a beach, every time seems a little different. No same stream twice. So check this out, please do.

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