With ‘CHORDS’, the Stockholm-based musician and composer Ellen Arkbro returns to Subtext, following her acclaimed debut album ‘For Organ and Brass’.
This new longplayer sees Arkbro adopt a more minimalist approach, focusing on the immediate qualities of sound and elegantly expanding the tonal capacities of acoustic instruments using precise, subtle synthesis.
Composed of a carefully selected combination of tones, ‘CHORDS’ stretches, extends and obscures the timbral character of the instruments it is performed on.
Across both tracks, Arkbro examines the sonic materiality and harmonic quality of chords. She considers how the compositions occupy space rather than time – transposing theoretical possibilities into the phenomenal realm.
As a part of Arkbro’s systematic investigation of harmonic sound, ‘CHORDS’ proffers a divergence from conventional ways of listening. This work allows for a form of listening which goes beyond the mere reception of outer stimuli in letting the listener experience their role as active, and as embodying the sound itself. Space rather than time becomes the primary locus of listening as subtle movement of head and body reveals the inner complexities of ‘CHORDS’.
Eerie, expansive, and breathtaking. This is ambient drone on an epic scale. The effect that some of these pieces have when they abruptly end is shattering -- these sounds become a part of your consciousness, and when they drop away, you're left in silence more intense than you've ever felt. Steven Moses