Anna Thorvaldsdottir's In the Light of Air on NPR, Q2 Music, and reviewed in the New York Times
In the Light of Air: ICE Performs Anna Thorvaldsdottir is available from Sono Luminus on August 28. The album was recently premiered by NPR on its First Listen series, featured on Q2 Music as Album of the Week, and reviewed in The New York Times. In the Light of Air was written by Anna Thorvaldsdottir for the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in 2013/2014 as part of ICElab. The tetralogy of works on the album form a unified structure, written for viola, cello, harp, piano, percussion and electronics.
NPR premiered the disc on its First Listen series last week, with praise for the, "rumbling, evocative music . . . grounded deep in the beautifully austere landscapes of [Thorvaldsdottir's] native Iceland." This week, Q2 Music features the disc as its Album of the Week, declaring, "not only can Thorvaldsdottir express the vast, emotional material of open space, but she understands its blueprints." William Robin reviewed the album for The New York Times: "'In the Light of Air' makes full-body demands on its virtuoso performers but is also guided by a taut sense of narrative . . . Recalling the post-Spectral language of composers such as Toshio Hosokawa and Kaija Saariaho, Ms. Thorvaldsdottir’s music conjures unseen worlds. In her score, she asks the players to execute particular passages 'with calm & ease and a subtle sense of brokenness.' The beauty of this instruction mirrors the sounds that it produces, infused with a balance of anxiety and luminescence that feels wholly contemporary."