Hymnambulae ‎– Orgelhuset

hymnambulae

[Reviewed by stark]

After years and years of creative laziness, Pär Boström has discovered some asleep and well hidden layers of inspiration that he eventually decided to bring back to life. A brand new Kammarheit album, old recordings released on a CD sixpack, the three-way split with Atrium Carceri and Apocryphos and now a debut release from Hymnambulae. This is the project he shares with his sister Åsa, and “Orgelhuset” is the first release of the newly founded Hypnagoga Press label, which – yes, you guessed it – is another enterprise by Pär and Åsa.

Does it remind one of Kammarheit? On some levels, yes, obviously. Especially these two miniatures called “Två Munnars Språk” and “Bära Fram Månen”, which have this specific feeling that only Kammarheit can generate. But when you observe it in the bigger picture, you notice that even though it’s the work of two people, it’s far more intimate. And more humane, as “The Starwheel” or “The Nest” were the epic musical depictions of desolate Northern landscapes without any trace of human presence. On “Orgelhuset” they minimize the scale. Even in these two short tracks mentioned above, eventually Åsa’s voice appears, giving some warmth and a beating heart to the dark and grey structure. As they claim “it was intended as a mythological house between worlds, a ceremony taking place – combining the siblings’ symbolism”. That makes sense to me, because when you have this unique, metaphysical bond that is only possible between people that came into the world through the same womb, why not forge it into an artistic output? They don’t need vast open spaces here, one house is enough, doesn’t matter if considered as a metaphor or not. The core of the music lies in the cloud between their souls and one head of this dual entity complements the other.

Apart from electronics and field recordings they use some live instruments here, such as organs and piano. They are heavily processed though, and it’s often difficult to distinguish their layers. Which may be important if you approach the music academically; I hope however that most of our readers prefer to embrace the sounds with their heart rather than their mind. Especially that sometimes it’s all covered with a shroud of lo-fi poetry which is another human factor added to the whole concept. Flute parts are marked out in two compositions. Performed by Sergey Gabbasov, whom you may remember from his “Zhang Zhung” collaboration with SiJ, which we reviewed last year. Drones and flute? The Floating World comes to my mind and I can’t escape that reference.

I really like the last composition, “Vitsidan”, which reminds me of an aural version of old expressionist movies, not the obvious Caligari or Nosferatu, but more like Sjöström’s “The Wind”, as it is characterized by a retro feeling and a mysterious but not so straightforward atmosphere.

The CD version has a 32-page booklet. All Hypnagoga Press releases are planned as exclusive ones, joining different forms of art: music, visuals, poetry. This inaugural one is by all means intriguing and raises one’s interest about what they will come up with in the future.

Hymnambulae ‎– Orgelhuset
Hypnagoga Press
CD/Digital 2016

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