Daniela Orvin – Untitled (2014-2016)

orvinRight from the start of Daniela Orvin’s impressive six-track debut, there is much to parse through. Bells ring in the distance. White noise – steam-engine like – fills the air. Then droning vocals, giving the piece a sad, almost pained feel. The effect is remarkably visual.

That’s no surprise given Orvin’s talent as a photographer. She co-founded d&a Gallery for Contemporary Photography in Tel Aviv, where she has put up solo exhibits and participated in collaborative shows. Her work sold at the Jewish Museum in Berlin last year.

Track two offers another highlight. “Music for Sad Films” is just as nostalgic as its title suggests. Orvin’s keyboards are a more obviously musical addition to the ambient sounds that accompany them. She has a subtle, personal touch that is on full display here.

In fact, Orvin is a gifted pianist who began playing at six. Her self-depreciatingly titled “Beethoven Moonlight Sonata (Drunk and Alone on Saturday Night Version)” is spell-binding. Presented with the same delicacy that her ambient works are, the performance makes clear we are dealing with a major talent.

“Noend” is equally impressive. Sparse and sumptuously paced, this is the kind of work that few artists have in them. Orvin is more than just technically proficient. Her romanticism sets her apart more than anything.

By the time you get to the album’s final piece, “Without Many Words,” you will be head over heels. Check out this weekend’s podcast for a listen.

Kevin Press

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