Saturday, March 13, 2010

Danìel Bjarnason

Processions (Bedroom Communities, 03.2010)

For: Nico Muhly, Antonìn Dvoràk, Lawrence English

Byline: Sweeping orchestral arrangements that resist any post- or neo- tags define this incredible new addition to the Icelandic Bedroom Communities roster. Originally Published on Used By Permission from In Your Speakers, LLC

Placing your music in a conceptual and methodical framework that has enjoyed an uninterrupted discourse through the past six centuries shouldn’t seem experimental. Placing an album firmly rooted in classical symphonic ideas of the late 19th and early 20th century out in a market defined by blowing these compositions up and piecing them back together with little more than a sequencer, however, should be. This is the place in the trajectory of neo-classical music that Daníel Bjarnason’s Processions finds us. In a musical culture so determined to push our crucial musical influences under the bus of experimentalism and abandonment of form, a musician who adheres firmly the classics (Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorak) would be and should be greeted as a true original, a wild innovator.

As the newest member on the Icelandic Bedroom Communities roster (there are four others: Ben Frost, Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurosson, and Sam Amidon) Bjarnason is in good company with artists who are grounded in classical music. Boasting two composers now, Muhly and Bjarnason, Sigurosson’s small imprint has a well founded reputation of putting out music that explores the edges of classical music while adhering with an academic rigidness to the practices of composition. Bjarnason, however, doesn’t seem interested in exploring the boundaries between classical music and experimental electronic like a majority of the Bedroom Communities artists. Bjarason writes music to fill concert halls, to score Lawrence of Arabia-like epics, yet fills a space that is intensely personal and emotionally transparent.

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Ryan H.

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