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Richard Hanlon
MusicWeb International, April 2019

The more I hear of Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s music, the more impressed I am. Each piece on this superb disc has something new to say. Spectral and special, her work revels in its conjunctions of the earthy and the ethereal. The International Contemporary Ensemble (under Steven Schick in the pieces requiring larger forces here) clearly know where she is coming from; their dazzling performances provide the best possible advocacy for her singular North Atlantic inspirations. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Guy Rickards
Gramophone, March 2019

Sono Luminus’s sound is first-rate, allowing every flick of the strings and click of the percussion to be heard with crystalline precision. © 2019 Gramophone



Jacob Kopcienski
I Care If You Listen, January 2019

The depth of the relationship between ICE, Anna, and Schick is sonically palpable through the generous and nuanced performances found on AEQUA. The result is an outstandingly rich album that invites rather than demands open and deep listening. Given Anna’s sources of aesthetic inspiration, this invitation likely extends to the ecology of the natural and human world around us. In the tumult of the current environmental, social, and political climate, AEQUA creates a much needed space to revisit the art and practice of listening. © 2019 I Care If You Listen Read complete review




Clive Paget
Limelight, January 2019

Performances are superlative—sensitive, idiomatic and enthralling—and the sonic engineering is wide-ranging and masterful, a crucial element in the success of such an atmospheric album. ICE, conducted in the larger works by Steven Schick, prove ideal advocates, but what stands out front and centre are the works themselves. If you already know Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s work you’ll need no persuading. If not, AEQUA is the perfect place to start. © 2019 Limelight Read complete review




James Manheim
AllMusic.com, January 2019

Beautifully performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, a group of top New York performers and composers, Aequa is ideally suited to the engineering talents of the U.S. audiophile label Sono Luminus, working in the Oktaven Audio studio outside New York. … Highly recommended. © 2019 AllMusic.com Read complete review



Records International, January 2019

Thorvaldsdottir’s music is frequently reflective of natural phenomena and structures; as she explains: “ … when I am inspired by a particular element that I perceive in nature, it is because I find it musically interesting. The qualities I tend to be inspired by are often structural, like proportion and flow …”. Her particular brand of ‘nature music’ thus consists of slabs or floes of slow-moving material; almost a kind of ‘ambient music’ though produced by musical means that go far beyond the consonant chords that that term usually implies, extending to some quite advanced extended techniques and instrumental ‘preparation’; this can result in a high degree of dissonance, at least by the standards of ‘conventional’ music, even extending to noise textures… © 2019 Records International Read complete review



Amanda Cook
I Care If You Listen, December 2018

2018 Contemporary Classical Music Albums: Editor’s Picks

Anna’s compositional voice is glacial and textural—simultaneously dark and luminous. The patient, careful, and deliberate performances by the International Contemporary Ensemble allow her music to gradually unfold into massive soundscapes. © 2018 I Care If You Listen Read complete review



Tom Huizenga
National Public Radio, December 2018

NPR Music’s Best Classical Albums Of 2018

Aequa offers mostly recent compositions, ranging from the crepuscular Scrape, for solo piano, where low tones drone and strings are plucked, to Aequilibria, for large chamber ensemble, where wind instruments flutter, bells toll deep in the piano, strings are slurred and jolting crescendos crack through the darkness. … It’s one of the most evocative pieces for winds I’ve heard. With these vibrant performances by the International Contemporary Ensemble, Thorvaldsdottir once again proves to be among the most distinctive voices today. © 2018 National Public Radio Read complete review



Daniel Barbiero
Avant Music News, December 2018

Composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir has spoken of how, growing up in Iceland, she developed a close relationship to natural landscapes and an appreciation for the subtle changes in light and weather peculiar to a location sited between mountains and ocean. This sensitivity to the quiet drama of nuance carries over to her music, as shown in the recent work on Aequa. © 2018 Avant Music News Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, December 2018

The CD and the program of works is called Aequa (Sono Luminus CD and BluRay 02227). The International Contemporary Ensemble prevails in a lively musical imaginativeness and well attuned sensitivity to give us subtly alive performances. And that means a lot because there is a beautiful ambiance to this program.

Thorvaldsdottir seems a central aspect of what is happening today. If Iceland has a sound, it is Anna’s sound? Probably, yes! An exemplar yet also a joy. Highly recommended. © 2018 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



Joshua Barone
The New York Times, December 2018

The 25 Best Classical Music Tracks of 2018

This collection of Thorvaldsdottir chamber works is a tour of vivid sound worlds nimbly navigated by members of the International Contemporary Ensemble. At the album’s heart is “Aequilibria,” a piece with rich contrast and surprising balance between spaciousness—conveyed through airy fifths—and knotty smallness. © 2018 The New York Times




Robert Hugill
Planet Hugill, November 2018

The performances from the members of ICE and Cory Smythe are admirable in the extreme, as each piece is given its own particular chararacter with a sense that the players are profoundly at ease with Thorvaldsdottir’s style. © 2018 Planet Hugill





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