Over Light Earth

by Daníel Bjarnason

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    Comes with beautiful artwork by Winston Chmielinski

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about

Bedroom Community releases Daníel Bjarnason's Over Light Earth on September 30th 2013. This is the Icelandic multi award-winning composer's second solo-album and third release on Bedroom Community, hot on the heels of his Sólaris collaboration with labelmate Ben Frost. Bjarnason's critically acclaimed debut album Processions was hailed by Time Out NY as 'coming eerily close to defining classical music’s undefinable brave new world'. On Over Light Earth the intensity of Bjarnason's orchestral voice is captured through meticulous close-micing and multitracking, a recording process that sets this recording radically apart from that of conventional orchestral recordings.

This album is very much the fruit of Bjarnason's ongoing and intimate symbiosis with Bedroom Community's Valgeir Sigurðsson. Here, with engineer Paul Evans and the newly formed Reykjavík Sinfonia, they have produced a suitably unconventional symphonic recording. As much at home in the recording studio as he is on the conductor's podium, it's no wonder Bjarnason is equally effective in collaboration with other sonic architects, whether it's the band Sigur Rós —he collaborated with them on their last two albums— or his Bedroom Community labelmates.

Over Light Earth comprises of three major works; the title work which was commissioned and premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and is Bjarnason's sonic nod towards the work of the so-called New York School of painters like Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, whose canvases No. 9 (Dark Over Light Earth) and Number 1, 1949 inspired the two movements of 'Over Light Earth'

The second piece is aptly titled 'Emergence'. The inexorable progresses of the underlying harmonies suggest a vast, preexisting form just coming into view, but while these harmonies keep steady somewhere beneath the audible surface of the piece, they're manifested in a range of unstable attacks, hesitations and anticipations.

The third and final piece ‘Solitudes', is an early work that is in fact Daníel's first piano concerto, here reworked with electronics by Sigurðsson and Frost. In this piece Bjarnason demonstrates his mastery of more complex harmonies and melodies. He uses the technique of muffling the piano strings to create syncopated, danceable rhythms almost like percussion pieces for piano and there might be a hint of a young John Cage here; of the rhythmically vital, pseudo-primitive prepared piano works. It's between the simple elements and more abstract materials - between harmonic motion and pure gesture - that we can hear Daníel Bjarnason's compositional voice itself beginning to emerge.

credits

released September 30, 2013

Produced By Valgeir Sigurðsson
Engineered By Paul Evans
Edited By Paul Evans & Daníel Bjarnason
Additional Editing By Clement Sbaffe & Ari Baldur Baldursson
Mixed By Valgeir Sigurðsson, Paul Evans & Daníel Bjarnason
Mastered At Greenhouse Studios By Valgeir Sigurðsson
All Music Recorded, Mixed & Mastered At Greenhouse Studios, Reykjavík

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about

the Bedroom Community record label

Bedroom Community is an Icelandic record label/collective formed in 2006 by Valgeir Sigurðsson, with Nico Muhly and Ben Frost, later adding Sam Amidon, Daníel Bjarnason, Puzzle Muteson and Paul Corley to the intimate roster.

"...the best record label in the whole of Iceland and maybe even the entire world" -Drowned in Sound
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