Valgeir Sigurðsson “Architecture of Loss” | Bedroom Community
When I first caught wind of the new LP Architecture of Loss from producer, engineer and composer Valgeir Sigurdsson, I knew I would be in for a treat. As a member of an impressive group of musicians whose home turf of Iceland presents an entirely different scope and vision towards music, the attention to detail and space Valgeir Sigurdsson utilizes is stunning. It’s not always what you play and normally is what you don’t and Valgeir Sigurdsson has come to conceptual terms and application of this concept towards sound in a truly unique and unparalleled way. Architecture of Loss is a very special release as it was first designed and composed for ballet of the same name from Stephen Petronio than it was bought back into the form of an album all on its own. Releasing with the imprint Bedroom Community, this CD and LP release of Architecture of Loss will surely bring something new to the world that all fans of music ranging from classical to experimental can appreciate and love.
Architecture of Loss is designed in many forms, leaving a slightly different imprint from track to track. This is achieved largely in part from multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily and violist Nadia Sirota as they paint a large amount of the tonal identity that comes forth from each piece. Composer and keyboard player Nico Muhly is the additional contributor to this album, adding in another dimension of sound that becomes the backdrop and scenery for the rest of the instrumentalists to layer on top of.
This is a gorgeous album, showing how soundscapes, experimentalism and deep modal classical musings can be exchanged side by side for hair raising sounds of another world. The music breathes in huge cycles and waves, only allowing the energy levels to exceed past calm and subdued degrees in small pockets of the album. This restrain causes a very beautiful release of tension when those moments come. The end of “Between Moments” is a really good example of this. Percussion enters into the piece and their is a menacing vibe that takes over. It’s a shift in dynamics only the best at their instruments can achieve. Just as quickly as it came forth, it dissipates into the wind and the spaces with no sound become more prominent again. “Reverse Erased” is another great example of the tension being released and the music becoming enlarged on contact. It’s stunning to experience this song climax in dynamic with a digital and analog presence both felt simultaneously.
As a reprocessed piece of art that was redesigned more than once for the music release, Architecture of Loss includes a track that wasn’t present for the ballet, the ending piece “Gone Not Forgotten”. It ends the record on a perfect note with a cinematic presence that gives the album a really sophisticated way to say goodbye. The piece is minimal but displays a large amount of emotion through each sound you hear. Viola is stunning and the matrix of sound behind sends the music into another hemisphere. You hear small traces of music foundations from a very distant time along with the futuristic abstract forms of sound that can only be created today.
Architecture of Loss is one of those records that requires all of your attention with rewards that are well worth the energy dedicated to it. As one of NPR’s 2011 “Top Composers Under 40″, Valgeir Sigurdsson creates music to stand the test of time and to further cement this generations vast achievements and legacy in sound. Architecture of Loss is only further proof of this reality and is a bright moment for the music community at large.
Order this album from Bedroom Community here: http://www.bedroomcommunity.net/releases/architecture_of_loss