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Garmarna - Hildegard von Bingen [Westpark Music - 2001]

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Garmarna chose to pay tribute to the works of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), a mystic woman who lived in a monastery and was physician, scientist, preacher, composer and poet. She saw herself as God's trumpet. As a celebration of her ninehundredth birthday Garmarna did a tour in 1998 where they interpreted the music of von Bingen. After the tour they didn't feel the affair with Hildegard von Bingen was over. So they decided to make this album.

Although the music might be the oldest of all the music they played before, the arrangements are more modern than ever. Although most stringarrangements still sound very Swedish, the beats are very electronic and the melodies, of course, are medieval and religious. The album starts off with a newly done version of Euchari, which was already on their previous release Vedergällningen, but this one stays closer to the original composition. The arrangements range from techno (Unde Quocomque) to Massive Attack-like strings (Virga Ac Diadema). The album ends with the solo performance of Kyrie by singer Emma.

I think this album can open some doors for Garmarna because these arrangements are more accessable for the pop-public than the previous, more traditional, Swedish music they played on the other three albums. Fans of both Dead Can Dance and Massive Attack could enjoy this album a lot. Fans of Garmarna may need a listen or two to get used to this sound.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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