Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jóhann Jóhannsson - Fordlandia

The second of a trilogy dedicated to mankind's relationship with technology, "Fordlandia" is a delicate piece of modern classical music featuring aching lovely sounds. The fact that its composer comes from Iceland, makes the comparisons with this country's beautiful landscapes almost inevitable: there's a feeling of something grandiose, icy and ethereal that brings to mind those inspiring Icelandic images we've grown used to admire. The title track, with its almost 14 minutes of sublime intensity, sets the tone: it's built around a gorgeous and melancholic melody of strings slowly rising over a discreet layer of electronic sounds, ending up in a powerful tone of breathless proportions. It's like a soundtrack to a touching non-existing movie and it's amazing. The rest of the album applies those same techniques, with a collection of small symphonies of strings, choral elements and soft electronics that exhale various emotional depths. And even if it never quite reaches again the highs of those first 14 minutes, it still has a lot to tell, besides the many detailed concepts behind each song, expressed in its titles and liner notes. Mostly, there's also an hypnotic story of a simple yet majestic dream, put into sounds with an impressive restraint that makes its quiet moments breathe a peaceful serenity, while its peaks go even more up there. (7/10)

Jóhann Jóhannsson - Melodia (Guidelines for a Space Propulsion Device based on Heim´s Quantum Theory) (video)

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