The only way to find a larger vision is to be somewhere in particular. – Donna Haraway
H e (a) r is an ode to hear, here, hér* and her. It springs from treasured collaborations that allowed us to ‘send sound and receive sound’ (Pauline Oliveros). We now extend it to you, this meditation on embodiment, acoustics and ecology. An album which rides on the wave of questions that rise and rise
Hjartans þakkir / Thank you for joining us
– Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, Artistic director of Nordic Affect
*hér is the Icelandic word for here
[read much more in the booklet]
Total time: 01:00:17
Merging Technologies Horus
|Original Recording Format|
Dan Merceruio / Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir
Daniel Shores, Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir & Kent Olofsson
Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia on September 11-15, 2017 except H E (A) R: Inter Arts Center’s studios, Malmö, Sweden on December 14-15, 2017
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||October 27, 2018|
A Closer Listen
Richard Allen from A Closer Listen says “H(ear) is an album close to our hearts, as it invites a closer listen, reflecting the philosophy of our site. The women of Nordic Affect continue to beguile as they present a multitude of works by female composers ~ including for the first time Estonia’s Mirjam Tally. But in the seven-part title track they also teach, using bite-sized interludes to investigate the nature of he(a)ring, the pair of parenthesis suggesting gender and the ear. “The subject we’re concerned with is sound,” begins the narrator, quoting the words of R. Murray Schafer as digraphs and diphthongs proliferate on the playground behind her. Thoughts surface and disintegrate, leaving a residue of contemplation and echo. Stereo is used to wonderful effect, as the phrases collide, interlock and disengage. Breath and break are as crucial as words. Our only quibble is that fragments are interspersed throughout the album like chapter headings; we prefer to he(a)r the series in sequence, transforming Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir‘s composition into a powerful overture.
The strands of music are woven together like loose hair. While listening, one recalls the cover art for amiina’s Kurr, portraying women content in their communal endeavor. The proud harmonic finale is indicative of a completed project, making it the perfect choice to close the album.
Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, Guðrún Hrund Harðardóttir, Hanna Loftsdóttir and Guðrún Óskarsdóttir are to be congratulated once again ~ they’ve pushed their sound further, and achieved more as a result. As intoned in “He(a)r,” “the best conversations are still those that play on the variations on that great and ancient theme: I’m here (hear). Where are you?”
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