This is Hildur’s 4th album for Touch, after “Without Sinking”, “Mount A” and "Leyfðu Ljósinu”.
This album is about resonance: on "Saman", which means "Together", Hildur melts her voice with her cello, connecting the two instruments together. The result is a highly involving and moving album, recorded, mixed and mastered in Berlin. Hildur’s sylph-like vocals contrast beautifully with rich cello tones, resolving the tension between light and dark to produce a unique listening experience.
This album is about resonance: on "Saman", which means "Together", Hildur melts her voice with her cello, connecting the two instruments together...
All tracks composed, performed and recorded by Hildur Guðnadóttir in Berlin, except Heyr Himnasmiður (track 4), composed by Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson, lyrics by Kolbeinn Tumason. Cello made by David Wiebe in 1991. [Cello nr 49]
This is not to say, of course, that they become one, but that there is a playful degree of both in each, the voice flowing into the cello and vice versa, inviting us to hear the harmony as a companionship instead of as a balance, a coming together that treats the cello’s lament as a vocal one and the song’s uplifting melodies as the tones of strings. They do not attempt to define the landscape, to anchor it as irredeemably a memorial expression or a fact of nature, but to make the inner (the quiet, modern singing, the contemplative, long strikes of the bow) coincide with the outer (the quicker pulls and strikes, the choir-like medieval style of certain phrases) in an act of friendship – while the voice is not pervasive, it certainly seems to be meant to linger, to accompany the cello as it expresses the landscape into being. This composition of an organic whole leads the listener through a paradoxical movement that is simultaneously still, as the music intensely evokes a sadness that is carried for miles and miles by streams that nurture all sorts of life on the shores, life that, in drinking all that melancholy and looking up at the radiant sun finds an unspeakable joy, an understanding that the choice between one or the other has always been false.
Against other kinds of solo albums, Guðnadóttir’s playing is restrained, non-virtuosic, passionately modern in its affirmation that every piece, every note, is equal under harmony, that every moment of tears shed is as important as every smile and laughter. Together, the voice and cello work towards a multiplicity of goals, a great variety of feelings that is far from a unity, developing into an album that remains constantly open to re-interpretation, that treads on shape-shifter territory that is haunting and fulfilling, always at the same time, never at the same time. This is what makes Saman special, and it invites constant engagement as much as constant re-articulation: take it with you, change place, be alone or in the company of others, and it will nevertheless later seem to recreate the exact same memory in different ways. So go ahead, look at your surroundings, remember how they’ve changed, and let yourself become part of it not as its center but as its companion
Track 6, bass by Skúli Sverrisson, string fretted cello built by Hans Jóhannsson, resonated through two grand pianos.
Tracks 1, 4 and 6 recorded by Francesco Donadello.
All tracks mixed by Francesco Donadello and Hildur Guðnadóttir at Vox-Ton Studio, Berlin.
4. Heyr Himnasmiður
7. Í hring
8. Rennur upp
9. Til baka