jóhann jóhannsson’s latest is a hushed, towering display of acoustic sound. organ and brass drones, recorded live in durham cathedral (you can tell – reverberation and an everpresent hiss thicken the already considerably dense ether) are soundtrack to a film presumably about the working-class of yesteryear and their gloomy strife.
this raises the question that invariably comes up whenever one reviews a film score: does it matter if you’ve seen the movie?
in this case, I think not. I personally have not seen morrison’s picture, and the music still satisfies me greatly. the entire record has a morton feldman thing going on – but instead of a churning hallway of chamber music that disorients endlessly, these pieces break into elegiac crests of militant snare before dipping back into twilit atmosphere. noticeable movement within the ambient. fantastic.
recommended for morton feldman, nico muhly or phil niblock fans.