Forndom – Dauðra Dura

forndomScandinavia, especially Sweden, seems to have an uncommonly large influence on the world of music. Much of what I have been exposed to could perhaps be ‘explained’ as the Swedes taking a form from elsewhere in the Western world, doing their thang with it and giving it back with a cheeky Swedish grin. It can be easy to forget they have their own traditions, but then I suppose it can be easy to forget that anywhere has its own traditions if the surface of the ultra-shallow Western Monoculture is to be believed.

A monoculture which tries to pretend death doesn’t exist. Which is an even bigger reason we need true artists around. Such as Forndom

Known to his mum as L. Sward, Forndom is a multi-instrumentalist, artist and photographer making music in the Norse ballad tradition set to a dark ambient atmosphere. There’s also quite a few tags around ‘death metal’ but you won’t find any detuned or distorted guitars here, just acoustic ones. And drones. And chants. And violins.

It is a very meditative listen, a sombre sound, and it is in no hurry to go anywhere. When you enter The Doors of the Dead, you’re on their time.

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The Telescopes – Harm

Which must be one of the most inappropriately named albums ever.

teleSee, I’m not going to try to convince you that this is easy listening. It isn’t, far from it. What we’re hearing here is essentially feedback and noise, with an added spacerock type of pulse in the second track. Human voices are there, but a distinct message – or even word – is not what they deliver. These are some very abstract musics.

If you read the quotes they have on the page, you’ll notice one of them calls it ‘harshly constructed noise.’ It’s the only quote which, for me, misses the point of it, seemingly equating this type of composition as being harsh because of its very nature.

Because I don’t find this harsh at all. I think it’s almost ecstatic, certainly the most celebratory sort of feedback driven soundscape I’ve ever heard, and having spent time with academic notions of ‘interesting modern compositions,’ I’ve heard quite a lot in this category. There is much to be said for harsher stuff – it can be strangely cleansing when the moment is right, but this is a different thing entirely. I don’t think its even in the same park. So this is not ‘harm’ for me. (Compare it to one of their other albums, which I could only stand for about 5 minutes…)

So here’s where I tell you that this thing syncs up somewhat with one of my upcoming changes. After I put out my next album, I was planning on doing a switcheroo on all my tunings. Now, if you’ve looked down the bottom of the bandcamp page, you’ll see that this album is performed in Solfeggio tuning, which is one of the tunings I’m going to use (the other being the 432Hz variety). This album turning up in my consciousness at the time that I was about to make the transition is a pretty surefire nod from the universe, as far as I’m concerned. (By way of hat tip for this album, I should point out that I finally got round to going through the final ‘Address druidons‘ on Julian Cope’s website, and it was via this that I also discovered the wonderful Inutili).

But anyway, there are all sorts of claims made about the Solfeggio tuning. If it’s the tuning system itself that makes ecstatic, celebratory sounds out of feedback and noise, what else can it do?