Peter Jørgensen: Soundtrack_Remix
Under The Spire

Pairing an hour-long set of soundtrack pieces with a remix disc featuring interpretations by figures such as Rameses III, Chris Herbert, Peter Broderick, Jasper TX, and Greg Davis is a strategy that goes a long way towards making Peter Jørgensen's two-disc release an essential acquisition. The soundtrack disc, which is Jørgensen's original score for the documentary Kim, a film directed by Morten Meldgaard about Danish World War II resistance fighter Kim Malthe-Bruun, features nineteen wide-ranging pieces, with some melodically focused and others more atmospherically inclined ( Meldgaard also contributed an informative background essay to the accompanying booklet) . Peter Broderick plays strings and Jacob Anderskov piano and the voices of Qarin Wikström and Isa Vium Jørgensen appear too, but everything otherwise is composed, played, and recorded by Jørgensen. As occurs in many a soundtrack, the pieces are often short interludes that on dynamic grounds opt for restraint over bombast, presumably so as to enhance the screen image without overwhelming it. There are mood settings aplenty—the droning harmonic swirl of “July/Julee,”  gurgling electronic soundscape “Isvinter,” and micro-sound rumble of “Trck 7,” for starters—but there are also elegant Satie-esque piano miniatures of the sombre (“‘Til Canada”) and melancholy (“ Hanne & Kim,” “Tidens Gang”) kind. The elegiac interlude “Palimpsest (For Strings),” melodic piano-and-strings piece “Kim,” and glacial drones “Luxembourg” and “Anthemusa” also prove memorable.

In its microscopic attention to detail, Chris Herbert's “Fissures” is one of the most nuanced of the second disc's drone pieces, as is Greg Davis's “Light Breath,” which offers a predictably entrancing sampling of his ambient-sculpting artistry, not to mention a lovely outro to the album. Pawn's “July_Julee” remix begins with insectoid field recording noises before a soothing swirl of whistling tones enters the picture; Machinefabriek's treatment of “July_Julee” likewise wraps its listener in icy layers. As commendable as such pieces are, many of the disc's remixes are of the ambient-drone persuasion, which makes those deviating from the norm stand out all the more. A lilting piano pattern and string synthetics elevate Rameses III's “For Hanne And Ruth” above the crowd by injecting its somewhat brooding setting with an overt emotional quality, and the banjo and acoustic guitar that join in near track's end only enhance the impression it makes. Emotive string surges dominate Seasons (Pre-din)'s “Every Heart I Know Has Been Broken”—aside from an occasional trace of birdsong emanating from its centre. Broderick supplements the soundtrack's “Palimpsest (For Strings)” with a subtle wordless vocal presence and undergirds its pealing strings with a shimmering drone, while Jefre Cantu-Ledesma's treatment of same distances itself from Broderick's by showering the now-churning strings with static grime. Add the two discs together and what results is a splendid collection from not one but multiple notable figures operating within the drone and soundscaping genres.

November 2010