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Stream Ellen Arkbro's new album in full

May 2019

The Stockholm based organist and composer's latest release is a meditation on chords and intervals

Following 2017’s For Organ And Brass, Swedish investigative composer Ellen Arkbro now presents CHORDS, where “space rather than time becomes the primary locus of listening, as subtle movement of head and body reveals the inner complexities”. The project's initial composition, CHORDS For Organ”, was first performed at Stockholm’s brutalist Västerort Church. According to the label Subtext, here “Arkbro sought out particular harmonicities before synthetically supplying additional harmonic content and texture. To pure fifths and octaves she adds synthesized natural sevenths and thirds, creating a heightened sense of harmonic stability.” The artist then applied a similar concept to a more widely accessible instrument in “CHORDS For Guitar”.

“To me, chords with a high degree of harmonic clarity display diamond-like qualities,” says Arkbro. “There is sense of geometric complexity to the experience – both in very concrete terms, with regards to the ways in which these chords merge with acoustic space, but also on a more subtle level, on which harmony almost feels like space, and where the manifold ways of hearing these sounds spontaneously translates into modes of spatial awareness.”

CHORDS is released by Subtext on 7 June. Ellen Arkbro is featured in The Wire 425. Subscribers can access the full interview via the digital archive.

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