18 June 2010
Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason create ‘Solaris’ with Sinfonietta Cracovia
Poland's Unsound Festival has commissioned Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason to create a new piece of music inspired by Andre Tarkovsky’s 1972 film and the original novel Solaris written by Polish author Stanislaw Lem. The music will be performed live by Frost, Bjarnason and Krakow’s 28-piece Sinfonietta Cracovia.
This work will be premiered at Unsound Festival in Krakow in October, and be performed at the second edition of Unsound Festival New York in April 2011.Tweet
What the press says
This unearthly record by award-winning Icelandic artist Daníel Bjarnason is as ghostly and ethereal as the album artwork. Full-bodied soundscapes blend with half-harmonised snippets to create something complete, yet only partly tangible
It’s scarier than anything Bjarnason has done before, filled with the measured fury of a people who have had time to let their discontent really settle in.
More exciting are the clashing layers of shimmering strings and turbulent horns on the three-part Emergence, whose lumbering, ominous melody hits its conclusion without resolving the piece’s unsettling harmonies, making for a tension-riddled trip to the very end.
...the music often sounds as if it’s suspended in space; woodwinds and strings swirl around pointillistic, muted piano notes and clusters; swells of brass splotch a sonic canvas of pulsing strings that hints at a shimmering surface underpinned by both meditative calm and chaos.
It’s the kind of ambitious narrative neoclassical work which fans of Valgeir Sigurðsson and Johann Johannsson will doubtless enjoy, beautifully realised and emotionally rousing, swimming with life and drama and tension.
...stunning and definitive statement from a composer poised to make meaningful contributions to the symphonic repertoire for years to come
... this evening afforded the audience intimate access to one of the most exciting, thoughtful and inspired composers working today.
He’s a dynamic modern composer, one worth watching more closely.
like a slightly uneasy ride on LSD
...the music Daníel composes are instrumental soundscape pieces that take the listener on a spiritual journey.
With fierce intelligence confirmed, Bjarnason now seems primed for a romp through the rest of the 21st century.
This record is intentional, poignant, and brimming with profound vision.
...expect to see much more of Bjarnason’s music over the years ahead.
Processions deserves to be [Bjarnason's] global breakthrough. It’s the sound of fire and instinct, the musical equivalent of a controlled burn. Perhaps all sounds to silence come, but thanks to Bjarnason, that sonic Armageddon seems a long distance away.
“Surely one of the most bombastic modern classical albums you’re likely to hear all year”.
V A R I A N T
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with Valgeir Sigurðsson and Daníel Bjarnason
Ásbrú (Former Nato Base)
Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
with Sam Amidon
400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. West
Soundscapes (Music by Nico Muhly)
The National Gallery
London (United Kingdom)
Sam Amidon at Eaux Claires (July 17-18)
Eau Claire (United States)