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Eldbjorg Raknes: OPEN (2013)

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Eldbjorg Raknes: OPEN How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Norwegian vocal artist Eldbjorg Raknes has created a sonic universe of her own. On every new release of her's, the solo album OPEN is already her 25th, she explores new and deeper sounds, nuances and colors. On the new album she focuses on the relation of the music and its raw, primal sounds and voices to the rooms, spaces and surroundings, indoors and outdoors, and how music is framed in relation to the audiences.

Raknes is assisted by another fearless musician, sound technician (and drummer) Audun Kleive, who captured Raknes detailed sonic journey inside his apartment in Skotfoss in Telemark, Norway, and later mixed it in another apartment of his in Germany. As on all of Raknes albums, it's packaged with utmost beauty, and this time with an evocative photo of visual artist A.K. Dolven.

The recording space offers an immediate intimate sonic surrounding, for the five consecutive pieces, all feature varied aspects of the masterful and precise control that Raknes has with her voice. On "Open" Raknes let the music—spare percussion, wordless low singing and subtle live sampling—to wander patiently through this space, to resonate and absorb delicate overtones, creating a deep, meditative spell. "Like Smr" is an enigmatic story sung in imaginative language. The reverberating space adds a dramatic layer, full of fragile emotions and suppressed tension.

"Talks" goes even deeper and now the masses of overtones, reverberation and echoes within the space threaten to shadow the whispering voices before these voices manage to form another space of their own, peaceful and quiet. "Breathe" evolves like gentle storm of breathes, contrasted by contemplative, soft singing. Raknes concludes with the simple and touching "In and Out," the only piece that is close to a song structure.

Raknes suggests in OPEN a new way to experience music, in space and in time. It is a deep emotional, evocative and most beautiful experience that calls for repeated listening.


Track Listing: Open; Like Smr; Talks; Breathe; In and Out.

Personnel: Eldbjørg Raknes: voice, live sampling, percussion and melodica.

Record Label: My Recordings


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