Anna Thorvaldsdottir

Rhízōma

by Deanne Sole

12 December 2011

 
cover art

Anna Thorvaldsdottir

Rhízōma

(Innova)
US: 25 Oct 2011
UK: 25 Oct 2011

“[T]he beauty of this sonic environment,” wrote Daniel Tacke for the liner notes of Rhízōma, “is in a constant shifting of focus between discovering the richness of detail and marveling at the splendor of the whole.” This focus-shift is not hard to detect, although some listeners have complained that the different pieces of music are too similar, that they play the same tricks, namely, setting up reverberations and then employing embroidery. The “richness of detail” not rich enough to save it from being overwhelmed by the “whole”.

I’d argue against that: I think the idea of multiple lines flowing outward, illustrated on the cover by that drawing of a tree, is executed non-repetitively and with alert variety, particularly in “Dreaming”, which is one of the album’s two big set pieces. The other, “Streaming Arhythmia”, starts by compartmentalizing that “shifting of focus”, giving you strong drum-spasms and then serene string-flow. You don’t shift naturally, you jump. The clever mixing toward the end of “Dreaming”, something like an orchestration of an orchestra tuning up, does the opposite, confusing the shift, disguising it, perhaps making it feel as though you the listener are adjusting the music on your own. More pleasurable, but, if you like, less honest, less upfront.

Rhízōma

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Call for Essays on Topics in Culture; Present, Past and the Speculative Future

// Announcements

"PopMatters (est. 1999) is a respected source for smart long-form reading on a wide range of topics in culture. PopMatters serves as…

READ the article