Atonement (2020)

Palsson

Tui Hirv

Guoni Franzson

Composing is a meditative process I embark on in every piece I compose. It doesn‘t feel like beginning a new journey with each composition though, rather continuing from where I left off in the last one. This continuity reflects in my music – one sound grows out of the last one, like branches of a tree. Associations and encounters find their way directly to the music, in terms of narrative, atmosphere or structure. It is a conscious process of translation of some kind, and I gratefully allow it to happen, never applying force or excess intellectual argumentation. All the technique I have learned is in service of that unstoppable movement, never dictating the flow.

Exploring the DNA of my artistic development, I‘d say there are two major factors that have influenced me. One of them is to have been born in Iceland, growing up in a protected environment that leaves one with the feeling (or illusion) that one is free to do anything he wants. Then again moving to Estonia to study composition made me re-evaluate my perceptions on life and art so far. The brisk salty breeze of the ocean got replaced by scent of burning wood rising from the chimneys of old houses near the forest and the playful indie scene of Reykjavík by sophisticated academic concert life in ancient churches and guildhalls of Tallinn. It was the environment where I found my musical language, plunged into East-European art and history, travelled and made friends, connected deeply with the spiritual approach Estonians have to music and their somewhat ancient character. One of those old souls I got to know is my wife Tui who sings on this album.

Our singer-composer collaboration started right away and has tied together our professional and personal lives in an especially fulfilling way. The compositions on this album illustrate the shift of us moving back to Iceland and continuing life there with a new perspective. The oldest piece on the album was composed in 2011 when we lived the slow-paced life of young parents in the countryside-like outskirts of Tallinn whereas the latest piece was composed in Iceland and premiered in Berlin 2018. The texts chosen for the compositions demonstrate my influences during the time quite appropriately. Stalker, Tarkovsky‘s famous screenplay from where I borrowed the monologue, was shot in Tallinn and cleverly displays references to Estonia‘s troubled history. Wheel Crosses under Moss contains excerpts of folk hymns from Vormsi, an island off the West coast of Estonia once inhabited by Swedes, until the whole community was evacuated in fear of the Soviet Army. Other texts are by Icelandic artist and poetess Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, whom I have collaborated with on numerous occasions. In the album‘s title-piece poem, Atonement, Ásdís Sif sensitively describes a feeling of re-connecting with herself and finding inner peace. The word itself – atonement – indicates my approach to composition in music and life.

Páll Ragnar Pálsson

Read more

Tui Hirv

Singer and musicologist Tui Hirv was born in Tallinn, Estonia in 1984. Tui Hirv graduated from Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre with a BA degree in singing in 2007 and MA in musicology in 2009. From an early age and until moving to Iceland in 2013 she was very active in Estonia’s vivid and highly professional scene of choral music. For a period of time she was a member of some of the most renowned vocal groups such as Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Vox Clamantis. Both ensembles have extensive international reach and regularly record albums for leading labels such as ECM New Series and Harmonia Mundi. Over time they have placed emphasis on the music of Arvo Pärt, their fellow Estonian and one of the most performed composers at a global scale.

Tui sings lead in Pärt’s L’Abbé Agathon for choir and chamber orchestra on the 2014 ECM release of Adam’s Lament. Led by EPCC’s founding conductor Tõnu Kaljuste, the album received the Grammy Award for best choral performance. Contemporary chamber music plays no less a part in Tui’s artistic profile. While in Estonia, she worked with new music ensembles and occasionally premiered pieces written for her by local composers. Tui’s collaboration with her composer husband Páll Ragnar Pálsson has been especially fruitful, resulting in more than ten pieces for Tui as soloist and ensembles of varying scale. Together they have developed a distinctive tonal language, which this album proudly represents.

photo: from booklet 'Atonement' on Sono Luminus

Caput Ensemble

CAPUT has established itself as a force in Icelandic cultural life and as one of the leading new music ensembles in Nordic countries. Founded in 1987 by Icelandic musicians, the sole purpose of the ensemble was performing and recording new music. The long list of Icelandic and foreign composers that have collaborated with CAPUT unmistakably reflects the immense diversity of musical creation in the late 20th century and early 21st century.

Over its decades of activity, CAPUT has performed at prestigious festivals internationally and published over 20 albums under labels like BIS, Naxos, Classico, GM Recordings, Touch, Bad Taste and Deutsche Grammophon, to name a few, until their paths crossed with Sono Luminus.

CAPUT is supported by the City of Reykjaví k and the Icelandic Ministry for Culture and Education.

photo: from booklet 'Atonement' on Sono Luminus

Read more

Atonement (2020)

Palsson

Tui Hirv

Digital Converters: Horus, Merging Technologies
Executive Producer: Collin J. Rae
Mastering Engineer: Daniel Shores
Mastering Room: Hapi, Merging Technologies
Producer: Dan Merceruio
Recording Engineer: Daniel Shores, Allison Noah (Assistant Engineer)
Recording location: Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavík Kaldalón Auditorium on March 4-13, 2019
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DXD
Speakers: Legacy Audio

Quality & Channel Selection
Select Quality and Channels to calculate the price below More info

Quality

This album is available as ST+MCH download (Stereo + Multichannel)
All lower DSD rates included with an active NativeDSD Plus subscription. Learn more.
Album Download duration price
DSL92241: Atonement
00:44:06   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Atonement
Palsson
00:09:22   Select quality & channels above
2.
Lucidity
Palsson
00:09:02   Select quality & channels above
3.
Stalker's Monologue
Palsson
00:09:53   Select quality & channels above
4.
Midsummer's Night - Version for Ensemble and Recited Text
Palsson
00:05:54   Select quality & channels above
5.
Wheel Crosses Under Moss
Palsson
00:09:55   Select quality & channels above

User Reviews

Other albums from this label