℗ ℗ 2019 Sono Luminus
 

South of the Circle

Siggi String Quartet

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1
Stillshot
Daníel Bjarnason; Siggi String Quartet
9:52
Opacity  
2
I. More
Una Sveinbjarnardóttir; Siggi String Quartet
2:38
3
II. Opacity
Una Sveinbjarnardóttir; Siggi String Quartet
4:37
4
III. Elegia
Una Sveinbjarnardóttir; Siggi String Quartet
3:16
5
IV. Less
Una Sveinbjarnardóttir; Siggi String Quartet
4:52
Nebraska  
6
I. Flat Water
Valgeir Sigurðsson; Siggi String Quartet
3:12
7
II. Landlocked
Valgeir Sigurðsson; Siggi String Quartet
2:46
8
III. Erosion
Valgeir Sigurðsson; Siggi String Quartet
1:36
9
IV. Plainsong
Valgeir Sigurðsson; Siggi String Quartet
3:14
10
Fair Flowers
Mamikó Dís Ragnarsdóttir; Siggi String Quartet
14:46
11
Serimonia
Haukur Tómasson; Siggi String Quartet
9:06
Digital Booklet
Total Playing Time    59:55
Siggi String Quartet was founded in 2012 during the Young Scandinavian Composers festival in Reykjavik. The quartet has actively collaborated with current composers and commissioned and premiered numerous works by various composers. The quartet’s repertoire extends from the renaissance through the classical masters and Siggi String Quartet four members have great passion for 20 and 21th century repertoire.

“Experimenting with sound and texture, improvisation and life electronics is an important part of our work. It does deepen our understanding of the standard repertoire indirectly, and it goes both ways.”

Playing a late Beethoven parallel to working on Haukur Tómasson's 'Serimonia' makes us aim for rhythmical super-precision, and working on Mamiko Dís Ragnarsdóttir's 'Fair Flowers' after performing the same Beethoven pushed us into the long phrases, picturing endless moss, grey and green and the tiny wild Icelandic flowers in bright violet and yellow. Una Sveinbjarnardóttir´s piece 'Opacity' is more free, the structure is simple and the improvisando feeling is reigning."
- Siggi String Quartet

Daníel Bjarnason wrote "Stillshot" in 2015. The piece is dreamy and nostalgic and in form resembles a chaconne, where the same chord progression repeats itself throughout. In the middle of the piece there is a retreat from the harmonic structure before it resumes the form until the end.

The composer describes the piece as depicting fragmented memories of a noblewoman. The recollections appear abruptly and vanish quickly, some of them distant but others more focused and clear. The title of the piece refers to the early days of photography where people would have to stay still for considerable time so the camera would produce a clear picture.

”'Opacity' is an experiment where I wrote long, movement-long solos for each instrument of the Quartet. Solos in the String Quartet repertoire are traditionally short and travel between the voices quite frequently. Here I try to expand the idea of the individual solo and the result is Opacity, four columns representing each instruments of the String Quartet.”
- Una Sveinbjarnardóttir

First movement "More" belongs to the second violin. Next movement "Opacity" is a cello solo, the third "Elegia" a viola lament. Last movement "Less" is partly improvised by the first violin and craves reaction from the other three instruments in time and timelessness.

"'Nebraska Quartet' was commissioned by The Chiara String Quartet and premiered at Lincoln Center’s Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, January 2011. The piece also marked the first formal occasion where I was being asked to write a piece of concert music. Chiara was in residency at the University of Nebraska at the time, so I immediately had the idea to base the new piece on my imagined impressions of these faraway landscapes. Two pieces that I had written just prior as a part of my score for the film ‘Draumalandið’ (Dreamland) ‘Past Tundra’ and ‘Nowhere Land’ were arranged for the Chiara Quartet for the same concert. Both of whom deal explicitly with Iceland, and therefore I wanted the new piece to deal with my impressions of Nebraska. I began to draw parallels between geological and geographical properties of Iceland and Nebraska. And notwithstanding obvious contrasts, these sparsely populated, erosive lands share a sense of isolation and timelessness, and vast open spaces. ‘Nebraska Quartet’ is in four movements: i. Flat Water, ii. Landlocked, iii. Erosion, iv. Plainsong."
- Valgeir Sigurðsson
352.8 kHz / 24-bit, 192 kHz / 24-bit, 96 kHz / 24-bit PCM and 5.6448 MHz, 2.8224 MHz DSD – Sono Luminus Studio Masters

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