Compunctio CD (www.compunctio.com)
I’ve long been interested in minimalism inspired by Feldman. Eschewing a limited harmonic palette that is diatonic in character, it takes as a starting point the idea of using a minimal amount of material to maximal advantage. Andreas Eklöf seems to inhabit this realm of minimalism. His pitch choices are centric, but employ chromatic surprises or non-tonal sequences that keep things spicy and unpredictable.
He’s his own man, compositionally speaking, but Eklöf also resembles Feldman in his preference for a slowly evolving, softly articulated soundscape. Nor was recorded in several rooms of the Stockholm Museum; spatial and acoustic differences are used to good effect on the recording. On Friday, for two vibraphones and gongs, a lush ostinato is outlined with aching deliberation. On two pieces for three pianists, delicate oscillations and gentle preparations evoke a Cageian (circa In a Landscape) atmosphere. An updated version of this aesthetic is found on LaSalle, a piece for electronics that would be at home in the ambient electronica genre. Equally ambient, but acoustic in origin, is a beautiful Passage for Zithers. Organized by pianist Mats Persson, this recording contains a talented group of performers who are sensitive to the nuances and subtleties of Eklöf’s music. Nor is a real charmer.