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Jesper Nordin - Vicinities [Kairos Music - 2022]

Jesper Nordin is a Swedish modern classical composer who mixes formal classical instrumentation, with electronics and computer music. His work often dips into other genres for influence, such as jazz, Swedish folk music, and rock. Vicinities is a five-track CD bringing together work from between 2011 and 2016.

The CD appears on Austria’s Kairos. The disc is presented in the label’s house-style digipak, which features a stuck-on thirty-five-page glossy inlay booklet- this features both English and German text, discusses the pieces featured here, and bios of both Mr Nordin, and the players here.

Jesper Nordin is a Stockholm-born and based composer. He’s actively releasing work since the early 2000s, and to date has eight releases to his name. This CD takes in three pieces/ five tracks- with the CD having a run time of just shy of seventy-eight minutes.

The release opens with 2011’s Vicinities- which features the Swedish radio symphony orchestra, and Bassoon played by Fredrik Ekdahl. The work is split into three tracks, with in total these having a runtime of around thirty-three minutes. It moves from sultry tone sliding like jazz passages, onto forlorn yet playful orchestrion that’s broken up by moments of jarring percussion, through to billowing malevolent ‘n’ building blends of bassoon and orchestra. All making for an eventful work, though do be careful not to play it too loud- as when the percussion suddenly kicks in, it’s very jarringly bombastic.
 

Next up we have 2016’s "The View From Within"- this single track runs at just sly of the seventeen-minute mark. It features the Quatro Diotima- a four-piece violin-focused collective, and computer music design processing. The piece rather wonderfully simmers, swoons, and at points violently sears in a decidedly malevolent manner- with a mixture of joint string dwell, and more angular single string detachments.

Finally, we have 2015’s "Sculpting The Air- Gestural Exformation"- this comes in just under twenty-eight minutes. And it features the twelve-piece ensemble intercontemporain, computer music design, and live electronics. And this certainly is an extremely jarring/ unbalancing work- that switches between violently cluttering percussion and orchestrion sear, forking ‘n’ twist string improv,  sudden drum marches edged by orchestral barb-ness, seesawing angularity, onto brooding dips ‘n’  flighty-if- angular builds.  

Vicinities highlight Nordin as a daring and unpredictable composer- whose work features both a keen sense of contrast and atmosphere. I’ll most certainly be seeking out more of his work, as he truly does take the listener on some rewarding sonic flights ‘n’ dips.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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