Hildur Guðnadóttir Leyfou Ljosinu

Icelandic cellist/vocalist/composer Hildur Gudnadóttir creates a sound world of enchantment and mystery. Leyfou Ljosinu ("Allow the Light") opens with "Prelude," where her close-mic'd cello's woody resonance gently reveals the landscape to come. "Allow the Light" begins with Gudnadóttir's delicate voice, which is layered via overlapping phrases sustained by a transparent use of electronics. With simple development and contrast of intervallic colours, she produces sounds so pure and enveloping that the listener floats, immersed in a crystalline lake of suspended voices. Over its 35-minute reveal, the piece moves from her voice's unhurried unfolding to her cello's intensification of tempo and density. Leyfou Ljosinu is rewarding blend of classical and electronica aesthetics in which neither overwhelms nor belies the values of the other; it's an extraordinary musical achievement. Recorded live in a studio, but without an audience or post-production enhancement, the pieces are the product of robust musicianship and a poetic, painterly sensibility. (Touch)