I will begin by inviting the reader to take an attentive look at the album’s cover. The skeleton of a keyboard instrument – plus sparse pieces – left alone in a forest; wood components close to their origin before the inevitable transition towards another kind of molecular constitution, courtesy of the passing time in combination with the laws of nature. A moving image, completely in line with the symbolization of life processes causing egotistical despair in those still mired in an implausible quest for “understanding”.
But then comes the music – for violin (Alison Blunt) and piano (Elisabeth Harnik) – which, as always, delivers us from the duties of definition, instead opening the door to our most congenial type of decoding. Eleven improvisations, peculiar gems touching on the inexpressible constituents of existence without materially affirming them. Transient events born from unpredictable gestures, nonetheless capable of delineating a frame of eternity where micro-rhythms and frail atonal melodies find a raison d’être. Musicians seeking an affinity with the surroundings, prepared for the recognition of an otherwise impossible to reach conscious perception.
The acoustic imagery conjured up by the duo can be extremely subtle. Having arrived at a point of near-disappearance, the sounds return only moments later to a degree of contrast useful enough for ears unacquainted with the secrets of a barely broken silence. Blunt and Harnik probe unique depths across dialogues rich in evocative overtones (as in “Alarm Of Skaftáreldur”, a personal favorite if it’s ever possible to name one). Seemingly playful at times, the delicate complexity of their reciprocity binds together the purity of a spontaneous action with a vague intuition of what lies well beyond our intellectual scope. The unpretentiousness of these atypical resonances, whispered harmonics and merely hinted modulations is an authentic gift.