Efterklang is a Danish group whose recent album Piramida took its members to an abandoned mining town between the North Pole and Norway. There, they recorded sounds of empty oil tanks, old pianos and pretty much anything they could strike or record.
That blurb made me think this would be a noisy chaotic Concert. And yet despite the found sounds, their music is really peaceful and lovely.
“Dreams Today” builds on a series of echoing keys and guitar notes. After nearly two minutes the singer sings a series of high “ahhs and oohs” until the vocals officially kick in. And then the whole band starts playing a series of fast looping notes while the percussionist plays some water bottles and mugs. The songs builds and builds, with a steady bass keeping the melody strong and then just as it seems it should turn the corner into a new section, it abruptly ends, leaving you wanting much more.
Before the second song, “Danish Design” they explain that they “never went public” with this song. They played it once before in a huge power plant in Copenhagen. It was a big room–very reverby (if you can say that). The office is a very different place and they want to compare how it sounds. They also sampled the worlds northernmost grand piano for this song. They were in Piramida, a ghost town in the arctic. The song begins with slow notes from the sampled piano while the keys play pinked notes. The singer sings in a baritone that is quite lovely. When the loud drums kick in it’s quite a shock to the mellow music. The song is only a bout 2 and a half minutes and, once again, it ends just as it seems like it might soar into something new.
“Alike” is from their previous album. It opens with keys and percussion (all kinds of things like a fork on a mug). They sing in harmony for much of the song. It doesn’t use much in the way of guitar or bass (the bassist is keeping time with a pair of scissors and then a beer bottle on a step stool) until the end of the song when the guitar chords kick in fast (but not too loud). It’s the longest song but the way it builds slowly it feels like it could go on for much longer.
This Tiny Desk really made me want to learn more about this interesting group and to hear more from them.
[READ: April 20, 2016] The Wild Robot
I love Peter Brown’s picture books. I think Chowder is absolutely genius and The Secret Garden brings me to tears each time I read it. So I was pretty excited to read this novel–his first.
It’s quite a fast read (with about 70 chapters all about 3 pages long) and lots of pictures. The blurb on the book said that a robot woke up on a remote island. She has to learn to survive from the animals. And once she starts to feel comfortable, her past comes back to haunt her.
And that is a fair summary of the book. The plot is very simple, but Brown adds a lot of details and a lot of characters to make the plot interesting. (more…)