Pall Ragnar Palsson writes of his new release: “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 Reykjavik 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…”
These five understated works are extremely delicate, finely detailed affairs; they offer a fascinating contrast to the composer's vast, subterranean soundscapes projected in the cello concerto Quake. Collectively they provide evidence of a composer as sensitive to the microscopic as he is awed by the monolithic, and whose deft craftsmanship shines through in every bar. The playing of the members of the Caput Ensemble is as refined as the textures Pálsson weaves together so tellingly, their commitment to his cause is both passionate and dedicated. As is reliably the case with Sono Luminus the stereo CD sound is rich and immediate whilst the 5.1 Blu-ray surround is vivid and spectacular. Neither option will disappoint. For me at least the short playing time is certainly not an issue in this case—Pálsson’s pieces may be brief in duration but to my ears they are infinite in their ambition.