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Ben Frost and Daniel Bjarnason

Australian-born and Reykjavík-based Ben Frost and Icelander Daníel Bjarnason are two composers who have collaborated on the Solaris project, a reinterpretation of the score to Andrei Tarkovsky’s classic sci-fi film of the same name.

Solaris was commissioned by Unsound Festival Poland and was premiered in Krakow in October 2010 and has since been performed in Reykjavík Iceland, Krems Austria and Alice Tully Hall in New York. A unique collaboration, Solaris is a quiet, stilled and all consuming symphonic suite at once as affecting and uncanny as the sc ...read more

Australian-born and Reykjavík-based Ben Frost and Icelander Daníel Bjarnason are two composers who have collaborated on the Solaris project, a reinterpretation of the score to Andrei Tarkovsky’s classic sci-fi film of the same name.

Solaris was commissioned by Unsound Festival Poland and was premiered in Krakow in October 2010 and has since been performed in Reykjavík Iceland, Krems Austria and Alice Tully Hall in New York. A unique collaboration, Solaris is a quiet, stilled and all consuming symphonic suite at once as affecting and uncanny as the science- fiction classic that inspired it.

The power of Tarkovsky’s film is not in its futuristic sets, or in the hypnotic shots of the alien planet’s weird, fluid surface, but it’s in the way he juxtaposes his alien, futuristic elements against the intimately familiar. This is a future not just of flashing lights and video screens, but of wood and wool and leather, of dogs and horses, books and photographs. In Frost & Bjarnason’s Solaris we do find the futuristic, gaseous atmospheres and pulses one might expect from a sci-fi soundtrack. Yet here they are carved instead from the warm, fragile sonorities of a string orchestra - Poland’s Sinfonietta Cracovia - a gently prepared piano whose harmonies warp and melt before transforming again—and waves upon waves of guitar.

Created through a unique series of processes, Frost & Bjarnason’s initial sketches —improvised to the film— were fed through software designed to correct music which tried to turn their dense and distorted sonic input into a digital sequence of raw musical data. Working from data riddled with error and misunderstanding, a human score was orchestrated; the whole process deftly mirroring the core of the film’s own narrative of memory and loss, alien doppelgängers and emotional feedback loops. Brian Eno —who consulted closely in the creation of Solaris— also used the same film to create a video accompaniment to this music in another strange loop of computer-generated distortion. But here the score stands on its own.

Solaris was released by the Icelandic music collective/record label Bedroom Community. « hide

Similar Bands: Valgeir Sigurosson, School of Emotional Engineering, Tim Hecker, Paul Corley, Machinefabriek

Solaris
2011

3.9
8 Votes

Contributors: Deviant., Xenophanes,

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