Rypdal: Lux aeterna

Our rating 
2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0

WORKS: Lux aeterna
PERFORMER: Terje Rypdal (guitar), Palle Mikkelborg (trumpet), Iver Kleive (organ), Åshild Stubø Gundersen (soprano); Bergen Chamber Ensemble/Kjell Seim
CATALOGUE NO: 017 070-2
Poor Terje Rypdal. What a profoundly confused man he must be. He wants to make deep statements, but he has clearly got the idea that depth in music is to do with grabbing lots of conventional signs of depth from lots of different kinds of music and stringing them together. The concept that music, to qualify as such, has to constitute a discourse where only certain things can go together, seems never to have occurred to him. So on this CD, we have Wagnerian chords, scurrying string patterns à la Ligeti, doom-laden organ clusters à la Hammer horror, Tavener-like chanting, New Age bell-trees, all piled on top of each other, or laid end to end. Winding their way in and out of this farrago are the wailing sounds of Rypdal’s electric guitar, a trumpet and a soprano (Åshild Stubø Gundersen, who – just to twist the knife – often sings flat). And binding it together are limp little harmonic sequences, and great lashings of reverberation, which to me is suspect for the same reason as mayonnaise on shop-bought sandwiches – it hides stale ingredients. A truly horrible experience. Ivan Hewett