Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson: Horpma - The Reykjavik Grapevine

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Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson: Horpma

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Published July 13, 2011

The latest composition from S.L.Á.T.U.R member Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson is a strange, almost impenetrable beast with avant-garde plasma running through its veins. Everything about this composition is unorthodox, from the use of numerous stringed instruments and unconventional tunings to create an imaginary 56-string harp instrument (just what IS a Langspil by the way?), to the varying 3 note riffs and time intervals throughout.
The end result is one febrile chaos, with its continuously changing rhythms and tones. The first movement feels a lot like several inner monologues all churning inside your head until a doctor provides a sedative two-thirds of the way through as the dissonance and clutter begin to fade.
After several listens, you do begin to tease out individual tunings, nuance and structures. But it feels a bit like a piece that’s to be endured more than enjoyed, and for a lot of people who are used to normal Western melody, structures and rhythms, they’re likely to find this perplexing and frustrating.

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