SKJELBRED: Waves & Interruptions – Eirik Raude, marimba and vibraphone/Ida Bryhn, viola/ Tom Ottar Andreassen, flutes/ Thomas Kjekstad, guitar – Pure Audio Blu-ray, DTS-HD MA (192kHz/24-bit) 5.1, PCM 192kHz/24 bit stereo, FLAC 96kHz, MP3 – 2L 103-PABD, 73:00 (9/30/14) [Dist. by Naxos] ****:
This disc presents a collection of works by Norwegian composer Bjørn Bolstad Skjelbred (b.1970), all composed between 2001 and 2013. The works have been written with melodic percussion as the central and dominating element – with various surrounding ensembles – performed by the recognized Norwegian percussionist Eirik Raude. The smaller chamber formations very suitably illustrate several of the central compositional and poetic aspects of Skjelbred’s music.
The music won’t appeal to everyone, but if you like John Cage or Edgard Varese this disc will strike a chord. These works are not widely dissonant, but rather meditations on life that are relaxing and inwardly directed.
This is another spectacular 2L recording, done in the Jar Church, Norway. The disc also contains a short video showing the recording session, and an interview with the composer in English.
We are seeing more and more Blu-ray audio-only discs. 2L goes a bit further on this. It contains a 5.1 channel mix in DTS-HD format, a two-channel PCM mix, downloadable FLAC high resolution files, and a lower resolution MP3 version of the music. The industry thinking seems to be there are more Blu-ray players out there than SACD units. Certainly the music sounds palpably real listening in 5.1. I’ve never heard any disc from 2L that was less than excellent, and Waves and Interruptions upholds that tradition.
The music is interesting and contemplative. If your tastes stretch beyond the basic catalog it’s a worthwhile investment. The video and variety of formats are all a plus.