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ARTIST
TITLE
Speaks Volumes
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
HVALUR 001CD HVALUR 001CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
1/23/2007

2007 release; new midline pricing. The first release on the Bedroom Community label features seven exquisite works of chamber music for small ensembles with electronics. This debut album by composer Nico Muhly was created with producer Valgeir Sigurðsson (Björk, Bonnie "Prince" Billy) in Reykjavik, Iceland and in New York, Muhly's hometown. Since having graduated from the Juilliard School for composition in 2004, 25 year-old Muhly has been causing significant ripples in modern music circles with a variety of projects. He has collaborated closely with artists as diverse as Antony (from Antony and the Johnsons who guests on Speaks Volumes) and Philip Glass, with whom he's had a long-standing relationship working on numerous stage works & film scores. Muhly played on Björk's album Medúlla where he met Sigurðsson and the idea of working together on an album was soon discussed. He then worked with Björk on the score for conceptual artist Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint 9 film. In 2004, his small ensemble work "By All Means" was played at the Royal Academy of Music, London and his evensong canticles were sung at Clare and Girton colleges, Cambridge which were broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 in 2005. Speaks Volumes doesn't sound like most classical records. It is not an idealized version of live musical performance or a substitute for the authentic live experience. It is not intended to conform to the nineteenth-century experience of classical music. Speaks Volumes was approached from a different direction. Sigurðsson's recording and production doesn't sit back and let the music sweep the listener away emotionally; it leans forward in exacting scrutiny and urges the listener to pay attention. Several of the track titles on the album such as "It Goes Without Saying," "Keep in Touch," "Honest Music" and "Clear Music" describe an attempt to communicate. For instance, "Clear Music" could describe the transparency of the piece's musical texture, but it could also refer to the insistency with which its musical ideas are put forward. It attempts to "make itself clear." The flattest surface, the merest gesture, even the deepest silence Speaks Volumes.