This new recording from Reykjavik’s Mikael Lind is exactly what its title suggests.
“I wrote lots of phrases for violin, viola and cello,” he explains in the album’s notes, “and had them recorded in such a way that they became building blocks for something larger. The next step was to put these phrases together in an interesting or pleasing way, and I worked intensely for a couple of months trying to find which phrases suited best in their naked form, and which I should transform through sound design techniques.”
Much of the material that constitutes these seven remarkable pieces comes from those original sessions. About 80%, by his reckoning. “But there’s always a dialogue going on between the ambient string clusters and the naked strings,” he says.
Lind has developed an international reputation for his boundary-pushing ambient work. With a Master’s degree in electronic music production from the University of Edinburgh, he is clearly no hobbyist.
On Strings and Clusters, his electronic music sensibility is present throughout. But his reliance on these opulent violin, viola and cello recordings provides the work a gravitas seldom found in more traditional ambient compositions.
Dare I say it? This is a classical music disc. A rich, slow-moving, boldly avant-garde recording that is as inspiring as it is sincerely mournful.