Norwegian soprano Kristin Norderval, who studies in New York and San Francisco,
composed music for dance, theater, film and performance.
Aural Histories (Deep Listening, 2012) is a collection of ten
"post-ambient arias for voice and electronics" that draw from her past
The electronic soundscape takes a backseat to the
multi-tracked wordless chanting in
A Flat Ground.
The complexity goes way beyond the mere multi-tracking in
A Summons, in which gusts of mournful laments intersect a mechanical
counterpoint of fragmented voices, although, by the end of the seven
exhausting minutes, all that is left is Indian-style extended vocalizing.
Her crystal soprano shines in solitude in
the rarified eleven-minute elegy Nightcall for extended howls
and weak echoes.
However, the too brief Gameplay appropriates a bit of
Diamanda Galas' demonic persona
in an electronic nightmare reminiscent of the concrete music of the 1950s.
The voice is not the protagonist but the victim in
Glass and Mirrors, where it disintegrates in a swamp of percussive noise,
Digital Surveillance, where it gets lost in the distorting mirrors of
disorienting psychedelic-industrial electronica.
After such displays of mastery,
vocal experiments like the breathless 13 Inspirations and the
Joan La Barbara-esque
Circadian Singing feel almost redundant.
It is a pity that the singer does not take herself more seriously as a
composer of abstract electronic music. The two companion pieces that are
purely instrumental, Extreme Weather and Narco Kyrie,
coin a powerful form of post-industrial music.
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