Valgeir Sigurðsson has created a masterpiece with his latest effort, Dissonance.
The label boss from Bedroom Community has always sought to blur the lines between orchestral chamber music and contemporary classical pieces that flirt with the post ambient ethos. Here, on his third full length record, Sigurðsson is able to dive deep into the human psyche and pull on our heart strings. Dissonance builds and releases tension in such a way that a single note is able to tear you apart before bringing resolution back to your senses. Listen closely and it's obvious this is the work of an artist who manipulates sound and expression with cerebral precision.
The title track is a deconstruction of Mozart’s String Quartet No. 19 where Sigurðsson takes a snapshot of composition and expands that blip into a 20 minute musical epic. "Dissonance", like the album as a whole, pits genuine orchestral composition with against subtle electronic treatments. The notes are often in stark opposition to each other, painting a bleak landscape of uneasiness and restlessness. Those moments are juxtaposed when the score unifies to create brief but powerful feelings of hope. In the end, "Dissonance" captures perfectly what it means to be human. There is no pause here, no motif or catchy hook, just a continuous layering of elements that are either ethereal or disconcerting, unified or dissonant.
The title track sets the theme for a record which is really three movements titled "Dissonance", "No Nights Dark Enough" and "1875". There are many pure and beautiful aesthetic moments including the intriguing "1875 I. Waterborne". The track begins with a burst of colour before settling down to a darker reality. It is a piece of work that again is representative of the awakening of our human senses. After the initial climax of birth, Sigurðsson reminds us our road is long and treacherous, but worth the endeavor.