Music Reviews

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Artist: Jacob Kierkegaard (@)
Title: Arc
Format: 12"
Label: Holotype Editions (@)
Rated: *****
Despite the religious theme, his nationality, and the surname, I don't think Jacob Kierkegaard is descendent of the famous Danish philosopher, but his sound features the same power of a mystical experience as well as a strongly haunting one. Formerly commissioned as a soundtrack to Carl Theodor Dreyer's silent movie "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (dating back 1928... many fans of poet and actor Antonin Artaud maybe knows he played the role of the confessor and drew inspiration by the movie for developing the so-called Theatre of Cruelty), the version coming out of Athens-based label Holotype's catalogue is a 36-minutes lasting LP-sized re-edition of that work and shows the skills as a sonic portrayer of Jacob. He managed to render that sad story where a spiritual light got eclipsed by the darkness of rational thought or maybe by the incommunicability of religious experiences that often transcends the limitations of human language, but above all the way by which Dreyer decided to develop the trial of the French heroin - it's no accident that many reviewers considered it as the real last masterpiece -. What should have initially been a movie in historical suites was turned into a masterpiece of the so-called photogeny as the plot got wonderfully rendered by astonishing close-ups of human faces and thanks also to the talent of Renee Falconetti, the actress cast for Joan of Arc - it seems she came up psychologically exhausted -, Dreyer turned it into a real cinematographical poem, where camera managed to expand the imaginary places where the sense of confusion and pain of the main character got masterfully rendered by amplifying a similar sense of uncertainty in the spectator, as there are no real clues about the places where all the action happened. The most surèprising aspect lies in the fact that Dreyer made a masterpiece by a sort overturning of the typical cinematic rule, aimed to grab and render movements instead of a staticity that contemporary audience could find odd. Jacob's outcome for this commission by INMUTE '14 is an immersive listening experience where the slow evolution of overstretched choral symphonies sound like continuously flowing between darkness and light. Even though it got released at the end of November, I think that some of the 300 copies, masterfully mastered by Nokis Lavdas at Kiwi Studios, could be available yet.



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