AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Trondheim Voices + Asle Karstad: Rooms & Rituals [Grappa GRCD4584]

Rooms & Rituals is a recording of often strange but always beautiful music for electronically modified female voices. The latter belong to the Trondheim Voices, a group of vocalists whose performances integrate wireless sound-sculpting devices developed for them by Asle and Arnvid Lau Karstad. On these twelve tracks the combination of voices and electronics makes for haunting, ethereal sounds that explore the voice in its different manifestations—sung, spoken, yelled, whispered—with and without words. These voices stand alone, are massed into floating chords, call back and forth, and loop themselves into ostinati. And even though some of the pieces seem to balance on the edge of a pure electronic music, there is never a loss of the natural intimacy that’s never more effectively communicated than through the human voice.

Daniel Barbiero