Sigur Ros
Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do



by biografiend USER (10 Reviews)
May 9th, 2005 | 12 replies

Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

`Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do' was originally composed for the Split Sides performance of the Merce Cunningham's Dance Company(loosely it is a company that bases itself on free expression and merges all types of the arts; music, painting etc as one whole). Sigur Ros and Radiohead were two bands considered to improvise pieces for the performance, and instead of choosing one; they decided to choose both bands and have each of them compose 20 minutes of music for this 50th anniversary performance. (Radiohead's music, although performed at the shows, was never released.) They performed their masterpiece in October 14, 2003 in New York and December 2-7 in Paris.

On thinking about what to write, they decided to draw inspiration from John Cage, a man who had also wrote many pieces for Merce and his dancers. Cage often used everyday sounds in alot of his works, and Sigur Ros wanted to experiment with the same ideas, while putting their own spin on it and infusing this idea with their own sound. Their instruments were a a piano, two hand cranked music boxes that created a lovely melody when played forward, and a rachety sound when cranked backward, and eight ballet shoes that were installed with pick-ups on them for percussion. They also used samples of the dancers and Merce Cunningham's own voice. The music and the choreography were independently composed aswell, and introduced to each other on premiere night, leaving room for improvisation and letting Sigur Ros focusing on the dancers and forming their music around them, instead of the other way around.

The three songs that resulted from this are designed to be played generally in any order, and have a sort of looping quality to all of them. There is no distinct break between tracks, it all moves with such loquacity which adds to the overall theme of the album, which is nothing short from magical.

The album is mostly focused around the music boxes. (very reminiscent to Mike Oldfield-Tubular Bells) They provide this innocence and warmth and delicacy throughout the piece. The first track is so fragile and beautiful, and seems to pick up and flow with such emotion as only a Sigur Ros song could do. You can hear the rachet noises and the ballet shoes, and all of it seems unreal, often hearing almost infant like noises in the background. As the music floats along into Ti Ki, you can hear faint brooding noises that add a feeling of eerieness to everything that is going on. You cant help but still be with the innocence of the music boxes, and just try to ignore the feeling that there is an ominous end to this unwordly music and feeling. The haunting music builds and unleasehes itself in the last movement, Di Do. Static lashes out, along with Merce's voice coming through, unclear at first, repeating the album name. A high pitched feedback comes in at various points, turning into what sounds like a horrifying scream. I always get goosebumps during this point, as everything builds and the evil takes over. Underneath, the music boxes can faintly be heard, playing the same melody that had carried through the previous two pieces and you latch on to it, focusing on the one thing that is wholly pure throughout everything. The voices and droning eventually fade out, and the naive, still delicate music boxes remain, playing the familiar way they always had been, only instead of having this unknowing, innocent, warm feel to them they seem almost eerie themselves, with a strange ominous feeling surrounding them, eventually fading out.

Although this wasn't necessarily supposed to be the follow up to the band's truly amazing release, ( ), Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do is just as good, if not better. Even if it is only 20 minutes long, the overall theme takes you far beyond just "listening", you can feel the pure emotion in the music, which is far beyond words. This album is nothing short of (another) masterpiece from Sigur Ros.

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user ratings (120)

Comments:Add a Comment 
May 10th 2005


This is a pretty decent EP, a great bridge between ( ) and their hopefully really good next album.

Dancin' Man
May 10th 2005


I've seen a video of the Merce Cunningham Split sides and it is very cool if your into avant-garde dance. I thought this was some of Sigur Ros' weaker work in relation to their other stuff but singularly, I like it alot. I'll have to listen more closely soon.

May 10th 2005


I am very curious to see a video for this; i cant picture dancers performing around this EP. I would really like to hear what Radiohead put out for it aswell.

May 11th 2005


you gotta be kidding me.. this whole board is so mixed up with sigur ros. this is their absolute worst cd. and agaetis byrjun is so much better than ( ) WOOF!

Dancin' Man
May 11th 2005


You need to understand that Merce Cunningham's take on dance is that it is purely visual and seperate form the music and set. Thus, there will seem to be very little cohesion between the music and dancers. Like I said, avant-garde dance. As both a dancer and huge fan of avant-garde everything, I have an advantage over most in terms of being able to enjoy that sort of thing. Definitely worth trying to enjoy though.

September 15th 2005


wait a minute br3ad man.. how is it a bridge if the new cd isnt out yet?

October 20th 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

hey, i'm writing this now the new LP IS out. (!!) Takk... is really great, but not as nicely surreal as this one is. i think Di Do is amazing, when the voices start coming in and eventually you can pick out the name of the songs and it all seems to make sense. it made me think a bit of the My angel rocks back and forth EP by Four Tet. a really great album. pity Radiohead didn't release their music from Split Sides.

February 2nd 2006


I really like this, its nice and soothing, I guess.

April 24th 2006


i find it somewhat humerous that fans also enjoyed kid rock and 3 doors down. i also find it funny that, while "devil without a cause" is number one on the list, "ok computer" and "kid a" are nowhere to be found.

July 27th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

I picked this up a few months ago, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. If you're a fan of ( ) or Agaetis Byrjun I'd recommend picking this up. Ba Ba is my favorite song on here.

August 28th 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

The juxtaposed version of this is so good

March 27th 2019


Amazing record

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