Together as Calder Lárus Sigurðsson and Ólafur Josephsson make a luscious neoclassical music from home-made harps, a range of acoustic instruments and electronic drones. Down is the duo’s third album and comes on Japanese CD from Nature Bliss. This is a lovely collection of ambient chamber music for rainy days.
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- Down by Calder
9/10 Jamie Staff review, 29 March 2016
Oh, now this is lovely. I can tell you that with understated, quiet confidence and I'm barely two minutes into this dreamily beguiling and soothing little collection of Icelandic electroacoustic neo-classicisms.
Calder are Larus and Olafur and this is their majestic third release together. Larus has a background in classical composition and musical instrument making; the harps he plays on these recordings were ones he made specially for the record. He improvises on his own instrument designs and creations, doing so here with Olafur to subtle but warm and magical effect. Olafur has worked his masterful ambient guitar arrangements since 1999. He has his art down to the pinnacle of refinement on this evidence.
Guitar and harp chime together in the most harmonious and affecting way. There are compositions for piano in which it has plenty of space to breathe and prettily unfurl. There are layers of acoustic instruments, strings and cooing ethereal female voice all emerging in an organic way; it's like they always belonged together. These are sounds as old as time. Songs of wonder at the natural beauty of the world, always with a sense of momentum. Shifting inexorably forward, this is music to soundtrack a feathery flight over lakes and mountains; pausing momentarily to hover over rock-pools and waterfalls, gazing down as the mid-morning sunlight plays off dancing, crystal-pure water.
My mind cries out to L & O, "C'mon guys, take me somewhere even nicer!" You know what? They duly oblige. No wonder John went to Iceland.
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