Saariaho / Jokubaviciute - Northscapes | RECORD STORE DAY

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The recording project Northscapes weaves works-from the first decades of the twenty-first century by composers from the Nordic and Baltic countries of Europe-into a tapestry of soundscapes, vibrating between landscape and the imagination, between the external and internal, between nature and psyche. What these works for piano solo share is a particular attunement to nature, reverberating out of the ever-present reservoir of pagan myths, legends, and folk music of the region. Their sensitivity to the sonic environment allows these composers to explore the liminal space dividing yet connecting landscape, soundscape, and mindscape. More than mere musical "representations" of the striking natural landscapes of the North, each work, in it's own way, attempts to transform the natural world into a sonic landscape, a mindscape, into imaginary geographies. More than simply pastoral nostalgia, these sonic meditations on nature reach beyond the physical to the spiritual, probing the limit dividing the objective and subjective. Whether it is vast cosmic space or the intimate, interiority of the expressive voice, these works harness the power of music to probe the emotional contours of the tension between world and mind. Haunted by landscapes colored by memory, fantasy, dreams, decay and infused with emotion, this music shifts consciousness through a transformational synthesis of landscape, soundscape, and mindscape-a shift from imaginary soundscapes to soundscapes of the imagination. In the hands of Lithuanian pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute, Northscapes is a sonic Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights of the ear and mind. (Christopher Zimmerman)