Press Reviews for Over Light Earth
- Reykjavík Grapevine
- Fractured Air
- A Closer Listen
- The Wall Breakers
- Drowned In Sound
- Reykjavík Grapevine
- I Care If You Listen
- Norman Records
- Chicago Reader
- Fluid Radio
- The List
- Arts Wrap
Daníel Bjarnason is a multi-award winning Icelandic composer who recently released his second solo album, Over Light Earth, to a lot of much-deserved critical acclaim. He’s been influenced by artists such as David Bowie, Duran Duran, Björk, and Mozart. I wouldn’t necessarily call his music “classical,” although, that’s often what it’s classified as. I’d say the music Daníel composes are instrumental soundscape pieces that take the listener on a spiritual journey.
The title track to Over Light Earth was heavily influenced by famous New York School painters like Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, whose canvases No. 9 (Dark Over Light Earth) and Number 1, 1949 inspired the two movements of ‘Over Light Earth’. As Bjarnason says: “What I find so amazing about Pollock is that seeing his paintings is such a visceral experience…seemingly chaotic, but when you stand and look at it for a while, there is also a very pleasing sense of symmetry and calmness…In ‘Number 1, 1949’, I am in some ways describing this reaction…like going into the painting and out of it again”. I completely agree with Bjarnason’s assessment. Pollock was a master at creating calm within chaos through color and composition. Perhaps we should classify Bjarnason’s style as “New Age Abstract Expressionism?”
It’s also important to note that throughout the album the mood and tone of the pieces change. Emergence I, II, and III build like a musical score. This portion of the album is a much more enveloping experience to listen to, but while listening, I never quite felt at ease. It reminded me of being inside a hurricane’s eye. This same feeling carries through the final act, “Solitudes,” and leaves you wanting more (in a good way) from Bjarnason.
If you’re doing early holiday shopping and have someone on your list that appreciates avant-garde compositions, this is the album to get. Listen to the very curious second track, “Over Light Earth II. Number 1, 1949″ below, as well as “Emergence II. Black Breathing,” and check out the full track listing and album artwork too. The graphic design was done by Chris Bigg and the artwork was by Winston Chmielinski. Daníel specially commissioned all the art for this album. If you like the album as much as I do, you can purchase it right through the embedded “Emergence II. Black Breathing” hub!
The Wall Breakers (November 21st 2013)
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Over Light Earth
Released on 30 September 2013
Released on 7 November 2011
Released on 1 February 2010
On the web
- Find out more on Daníel Bjarnason’s website
- Visit Daníel Bjarnason’s page on MySpace
- Check out Daníel Bjarnason’s page on Facebook
- Follow Daníel Bjarnason on Twitter