Working as a producer for acts such as Bjork, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly, Hildur Guðnadóttir, and CocoRosie, Icelandic composer Valgeir Sigurðsson releases his fourth solo full length on Bedroom Community. Falling in and out of its namesake, Dissonance hold grand pieces reflect great joy and sadness, melding neo classical and electronics to cinematic effect.
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Valgeir Sigurðsson -- Icelandic producer / composer / engineer / programmer / Bedroom Community label boss -- has made a work of darkly brooding, intensely atmospheric and emotive post-classical-drone in ‘Dissonance’. This is music as dark as night -- as dark and moody as the man himself, in fact: I’ve just seen his photo on a popular music blog on the web. He’s giving the camera a look that’s the very essence of ‘haunted’.The title track is a 23-minute piece which extrapolates expansively from Mozart’s Dissonance Quartet. So we basically get a monolithically imposing wall of sound with several massive crescendos. Sigurðsson’s aren’t traditional ‘strings’ as such; Valgeir strays away from convention and incorporates a viola da gamba -- the earthy forerunner to the cello -- and electronics to up the ante further.
Sigurðsson’s approach was to meticulously split the individual instrumental parts played by the Reykjavik Sinfonia and piece them back again like a puzzle in the studio. That’s the engineer in him taking over I guess. ‘No Nights Dark Enough’ is an object lesson in deep melancholy, the sparsely melodic strings surging against ominous rumbles of noise. Tense, taut, magnificent. Then shards of piano notes ring through the gloom, like the merest glimmers of refracted light. There’s so much beauty in this dissonance.
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