Eydís Evensen, The Light Review
From Darkness into The Light: Eydís Evensen’s Neo-Classical Journey of Resilience and Renewal
The Light, Icelandic pianist-composer Eydís Evensen’s sophomore offering, beckons us into a world where the dichotomy of light and shadow paints the stark and beautiful landscape of the human condition. It’s as though Evensen has taken a cue from her homeland’s brutal yet ethereal beauty, transforming it into a neo-classical narrative that echoes the harsh Icelandic winter transitioning into spring.
The album opens with “Anna’s Theme,” an unadorned piece characterized by hauntingly solitary piano notes that echo the loneliness of a long winter night. Evensen’s touch on the piano is expressive and flowing as she musically conjures a landscape of the first light of dawn cutting through the heavy mist, setting the stage for an introspective journey through the darkest corners of the soul.
Following it is “The Light II,” a poignant choral arrangement that serves as a solemn prayer for the lost and forgotten. It’s like standing in the shadow of an ancient cathedral, the stone walls echoing with centuries of whispered secrets and unshed tears. Evensen’s writing is balanced and filled with rich counterpoint and subtle harmonic movements. The Capella performance by the acclaimed Icelandic choir Schola Cantorum Reykjavicensis is outstanding.
The narrative takes a gut-wrenching turn with “17.03.22,” a stirring composition underscored by a heartrending string orchestration, capturing the essence of a harrowing winter day. Evensen creates a composition that uses pain as a starting point that she harnesses to create a moving composition. The piano and strings are her vehicles in converting the pain into a driving force for her art.
This painful awakening then seamlessly transitions into “Tranquillant,” a piece bursting with the exuberance of newfound hope. Breathless woodwinds and a romantic string section convey the sense of the world breaking free from winter’s icy grip, like the first blooms pushing their way through the thawing earth. In addition, Evensen’s romantic piano playing supports the haunting melodies with flowing arpeggios.
Midway through the album, we encounter two solo piano compositions performed by Evensen, “Disturbance” and “Transcending.” Both are characterized by their brooding quality, with arpeggio figures supporting lyrical melodies. In addition, Evensen’s skillful manipulation of octaves creates a tempestuous atmosphere that mirrors the inner turmoil we all grapple with. These pieces are a testament to the wisdom in embracing one’s shadows, a concept that’s at the heart of Neville Goddard’s teachings.
The journey culminates with “Tephra Horizon,” a stirring composition that radiates infectious optimism. Emotive strings and bold, triumphant brass surround the piano figures, heralding the arrival of spring, reminding us that out of devastation and hardship often comes the most profound growth and renewal. Tephra Horizon” refers to the imprint that the ash of a single volcanic eruption can leave on the landscape. The inspiration for this powerful piece with piano, winds, and strings is the volcanic eruption of Fagradalsfjall in 2021, with its destructive power and dramatic outcome.
“‘Dreaming of Light’ showcases Evensen’s diverse musical talent as a pianist, lyricist, and vocalist. Singing in her native Icelandic, her voice is clear and emotive, transcending language barriers and touching the heart directly. The composition unfolds from a simple blend of a lone vocal melody harmonizing with the piano, gradually expanding into an intricate tapestry of layered vocal harmonies. This stunning transformation speaks volumes of Evensen’s creative prowess, evoking solid emotions even if the exact words elude our understanding.
Eydís Evensen’s The Light is a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit. It navigates the stark realities of life with an elegance and honesty that is profoundly moving. Drawing from her homeland’s raw, untamed beauty, she’s crafted a musical narrative that illuminates the path from despair to hope, reminding us that even in the darkest winter, the promise of spring always looms on the horizon.
Connect with Eydís Evensen: Website |
May 26, 2023