Hildur Gudnadóttir ‘s latest release on the Touch label features two tracks: the 4 minute introduction (“Prelude”) and the 35 minute title track: “Leyfdu Ljósinu” .
The track division seems is somewhat artificial, since the “Prelude“ closing chord seamlessly introduces the start of the main title track.
This recording is in fact a “live” recording (with no audience present. which means no distractive audience sounds).
It’s “just” Hildur performing over her multi-track recordings – no “post tampering” was applied afterwards.
Hildur’s main instrument still remains the cello. The Prelude is a cello solo performance, but as soon as the main track starts there’s a sudden change of mood when the cello retreats and it’s Hildur’s voice that is layered to slow angelic whispers – seemingly taking inspiration from Brian Eno’s classic “Music for Airports” as well as more recent Grouper recordings. The main difference is the way the tension slowly rises.
“Leyfdu Ljósinu“ takes the time it needs to develop. Gradually, a different atmosphere creeps in, and after about 15-20 minutes the cello reclaims its place center-stage and the tension starts to rise to an inescapable climax in the end, sounding nothing like the start.
A solo-performance with a full scale symphonic effect!
“Leyfdu Ljósinu“ is Icelandic for ‘Allow the light’ – but I’m not really sure if the light is coming in or if it is forced to retreat.
Apart from the physical CD-release, Touch also offers this album on a 2GB USB stick featuring a surround version by choice (4-channel, 5.1 with bass management or 5.1 with full LFE).
The performance recording was made using ambisonic microphones, so this multichannel version will probably enhance the recording environment surroundings (of the Music Research Centre of the University of York).
The USB stick version comes in a Hildur handmade paper cover. Oooh.. talk about tempting!
Hildur Gudnadottir – Leyfdu Ljósinu (fragment)
– (Also on Spotify)