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Andrew Mellor
Gramophone, January 2019

The central work on this recording from ICE is that from which it takes its title. In the Light of Air (2014) for ensemble and electronics is an exquisite tetralogy that forms a single statement, in which melodies are thrown up by the music’s very exploration of sound and texture. It’s a musical perusal of light and air, and of visibility, temperature and geology. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Tom Huizenga
National Public Radio, December 2015

Our 10 Favorite Classical Albums Of 2015

…Anna Thorvaldsdottir talks of “listening to landscapes.” You can hear them, it seems, in her imaginative four-movement work for chamber ensemble and electronics, In the Light of Air, played by ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble). Subterranean bass tones, icy strings and ethereal percussion evoke the rumbling volcanoes, crystalline lakes and spouting geysers of her native Iceland. © 2015 National Public Radio

Vivien Schweitzer
The New York Times, December 2015

The Best Classical Music Recordings of 2015

The meditative, texturally rich landscapes of “In the Light of Air” for viola, cello, harp, piano, percussion and electronics by this young Icelandic composer are haunting, beautiful and unsettling by turns. The sonic possibilities of the cello are explored in the intense “Transitions,” powerfully rendered by Michael Nicolas. © 2015 The New York Times

David W Moore
American Record Guide, November 2015

…well played and recorded with mood and clarity. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Daniel Coombs
Audiophile Audition, October 2015

…this collection…is simply atmospheric.

I think anyone who appreciates the new breed of “contemporary” composers would greatly enjoy the work of Anna Thorvaldsdottir…[her] work is wonderful and worth exploring.

The sound quality…is clear, resonant and beautiful as always. Highly recommended! © 2015 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Textura, October 2015

…the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)…do much to bring Thorvaldsdottir’s enigmatic universe into being. © 2015 Textura Read complete review

Thomas May
MEMETERIA by Thomas May, September 2015

Scored for viola, cello, harp, piano, percussion, and electronics, In the Light of Air is a suite comprising four movements: “Luminance,” “Serenity,” Existence,” and—the longest of the four—“Remembrance.” Thorvaldsdottír builds lucid but unpredictable textures using this lovely instrumentarium, with each player eventually emerging as a soloist against the context of the others. The result touches on the archaic, with early musicy drones, but also brings to mind a sci-fi adventure Morton Feldman might have imagined. © 2015 MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Paula Edelstein, September 2015

“Remembrance,” echoes deeply with listeners. Kyle Armbrust’s viola creates a multidimentional sound that helps to define the textures inherent in this excellent song. The vast sonic structures heard during “Serenity,” are so beautiful and calming that it’s no wonder this music is being used as therapy for distressed patients. “Transitions” can be analyzed as both therapeutic and elegiac. Its lovely string progressions are calming and emotional and ICE performs each note to perfection. Nathan Davis’ percussive timbre and sonority on “Transitions” are skillfully poetic and interestingly placed. © 2015 Read complete review

Phil Freeman
burning ambulance, September 2015

Thorvaldsdottir’s music is likely not what the average person thinks of when they hear the phrase “classical music.” However, its atmosphere and tonalities are likely to appeal quite strongly to fans of forbidding music of any genre. [In the Light of Air] adds enough brightness and positivity to demonstrate the vastness of Thorvaldsdottir’s compositional imagination and sonic universe. © 2015 burning ambulance Read complete review

Bruce Reader
The Classical Reviewer, September 2015

[In The Light Of Air] is a wonderfully cohesive work that is full of subtle colours and textures, brilliantly played by ICE.

AnnaThorvaldsdottir’s music is not to be confused with minimalism. She brings so much more to her slowly unfolding canvasses. …a very fine recording with great detail. © 2015 The Classical Reviewer Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, September 2015

The quintet assembled for In the Light of Air sounds absolutely perfect for the music at hand, which makes sense in that both works were created with them in mind.

Anna Thorvaldsdottir has given us considerable beauty and great depth in this program. She is a special creative force and one most definitely to watch in the contemporary music world going forward.

Stunning! Totally recommended! © 2015 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Stephen Smoliar, August 2015

…both compositions make for highly rewarding listening experiences. © 2015 Read complete review

Maggie Molloy
Second Inversion, August 2015

…Thorvaldsdottir is known for creating large sonic structures that reveal a vast variety of sustained sound materials—and both of these pieces are a perfect example of her visionary style. Throughout the album, her subtle timbral nuances, poetic textures, and lyrical gestures immerse the listener in austere, somber, and utterly spellbinding soundscapes. © 2015 Second Inversion Read complete review

Richard Allen
a closer listen, August 2015

Thorvaldsdottir honors both the contributions of the individual performers and their work as an ensemble. [ICE’s] control is impressive, their execution impeccable, and with compositions such as “In the Light of Air”, their exquisite talent shows through.

In the Light of Air is another jewel in the crown of Thorvaldsdottir, who is quickly becoming one of the globe’s greatest composers. The future of modern composition is safe in her hands. © 2015 a closer listen Read complete review

William Robin
The New York Times, August 2015

With a barrage of extended techniques, the expansive vocabulary of “In the Light of Air” makes full-body demands on its virtuoso performers but is also guided by a taut sense of narrative. Recalling the post-Spectral language of composers such as Toshio Hosokawa and Kaija Saariaho, Ms. Thorvaldsdottir’s music conjures unseen worlds. © 2015 The New York Times Read complete review

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