White Sun Live. Part I: Strings


For White Sun Live. Part I: Strings, Jófríður Ákadóttir has re-recorded some of the finest songs from her bands and solo-projects (JFDR, Samaris, Pascal Pinon) with new string arrangements. These versions have a simple, inherent beauty that is juxtaposed with their seething, stark intensity. To replace the original arrangements with strings was originally planned as a one-off event: When preparing a Pascal Pinon performance in Portugal, Jófríður asked NYC-based composer Ian Davis to help her re-arrange four tracks. After the show Jófríður realized that the material deserved to be captured. The featured songs were chosen from the repertoire of JFDR (her solo project) and Pascal Pinon (the duo she forms with her sister Ásthildur). There was no objective selection criteria: "I chose the songs that called for strings, songs that I was interested in continuing their story", Jófríður says. "Making this EP was meant to cast new light onto old bodies, to explore what is song and what is arrangement". Indeed, the arrangements establish a fresh perspective on the selected songs (except for "My Work" -- as the track will appear on a forthcoming JFDR album). Being freed from genre, these versions also expose JFDR's voice and its dynamics -- the absence of beats gives her vocal performance new possibilities. The EP was recorded live in a studio in Reykjavík, where Jófríður was joined by producer Albert Finnbogason, her sister Ásthildur (additional vocals and piano) and a string quintet. Ian Davis also made it to the recording sessions and brought two new transcriptions: "I wanted to have moments of clear simplicity juxtaposed with more dense, experimental passages. Sometimes the strings are just holding root notes and simple chords and other times they open up into more contrapuntal and textural moments", Ian explains. As a result, you'll find both moments of modest beauty as well as intensely seething passages. Even if Jófríður's voice clearly is the main attraction here, this EP -- as she emphasizes herself -- is a collective work of those involved: "Trusting your collaborators is the truest gift".