This Forgotten Land

TS 019CD TS 019CD

Matti Bye has been best known as one of Sweden's most sought-after film composers, working on scores not only for contemporary, but also vintage silent movies. In 2014, he received two of the three nominations for Best Original Music Award at Sweden' Guldbaggen. He's recorded a number of solo works, too, not least 2010's Drömt and 2013's Bethanien. This Forgotten Land, produced by Joel Danell, offers a deeply atmospheric experience, steeped in nostalgia and yet thrillingly contemporary. Opener "Melt" indicates what's to come, with its muffled tones and subdued sense of foreboding. At other times -- such on "Underneath The Silence" -- one can hear the influence of Debussy. On "Absence", the creaking of Bye's keyboard pedals is intrinsic to the atmosphere of his rippling melody, while "Into The Haze" and "Cascading Sun" and "Empty Streets / Piano Street" reveal his affection for circus music and other archaic styles. Incongruous sounds, audible in the background, are essential to his compositions. When he was 20, Stockholm's celebrated Cinematheque contacted Bye about playing music for silent films. "Silent film music was like a blank spot on the music map, but I recognized the freedom I'd have as a musician, and the force of the poetry in these forgotten images." As his reputation spread, Bye recognized that he'd stumbled on a singularly romantic style. "I started out as a piano improviser," he says, "and suddenly I realized that I'm a composer." This Forgotten Land looks set to expand Bye's reach. Peculiarly otherworldly, serenely haunting, and utterly unforgettable, its melodies linger long after its conclusion, their atmosphere a magical mist. Out of time, but just in time, it confirms Matti Bye as a vital composer of visionary, cinematic scope.