Arin Aksberg: It Flows Between Us

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Product Description

1 Virtuality
2 Airportwait
3 At Breakneck Speed
4 12
5 It Flows Between Us
6 Never Without Your Presence
7 In Memory
8 Reflections On Virtuality
9 Never Ending Journey
10 Elevate

Genres: Neo-Classical, Post-Rock, Ambient, Minimalism
RIYL: Joep Beving, Nils Frahm, Harold Budd, Ólafur Arnalds, Sigur Rós, Brian Eno, Laraaji

Arin Aksberg lives north of the Arctic Circle in Alta, Norway. It’s a cold, beautiful & harsh place of 21,000 residents; living there invariably pulls at the emotions of longing, desire and survival. 23-year-old Arin dealt with a feeling of non-reality magnified by imposed isolation and a newborn child by submerging himself in the sublime and hallucinatory aspects of creating music. It Flows Between Us is the sound of duality — neo-classical piano-based tracks and compositional ambient pieces juxtapose with occasional post-rock tones that originate within ethereal spaces before venturing into the depths of darkness. The album captures the contemplative, sensitive, and melancholic introspective moods one might expect from an artist living where — for two months out of the year — the sun never rises above the horizon.

“I’ve had my ups and downs since I was 10 years old,” Arin remembers, “struggling with a sort of social anxiety and sense of isolation. The lockdown gave me time to sort out my thoughts. Music is a powerful way to let both thoughts and creativity flow and make place for fresh ideas. Here, virtuality and the digital life became a great distraction.”

While recording this album, Arin was also studying for university from home and caring for his young daughter. “Being on digital classes with other students for weeks, everything got more and more reliant on technology. Studying almost the entire day, I felt distant from reality and distant from being a parent while my daughter played on her own. You know, you’re trying to keep up in class while she wants me to come play with her. An awareness of not being 100% present with her really sticks to me to this day.”

“I was under the impression that the themes of the album were about technology: the digital world and how it can come in the way between parent and child. But I guess I missed the whole point of my own music. I realized just recently that the album is more about the fear of not becoming the parent you want to be. Perhaps fear is what’s flowing between us? The album title was originally a representation of the digital life flowing between parent and child, but the true meaning went over my head: the fear of not being able to be there when it’s needed.”

“Man, I probably seem like a dark person here,” Arin laughs. “Actually, I’m really looking forward to what’s coming. In this music I intuitively explore transcendent moments when we are our most basic selves. I don’t have any classical training, so my knowledge of musical theory is quite absent. That opens a lot of doors to me when it comes to creativity. I create by intuition, and it captures the complex and minuscule feelings of life.”

It Flows Between Us is sixty-one minutes of emotional, minimalist and poignant piano-led moments fueled by Arin’s contemplative sense of despair and desire for physical connection.

Projekt release: March 3 2023

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  1. Reviews Editor

    From Exposé

    Arin Aksberg is a Norwegian composer and multi-instrumentalist from Alta; that’s in the extreme north of the country, even further north than Tromsø, north of the Arctic Circle, where for three months out of the year the sun barely peeks over the horizon and the aurora borealis probably offers the 21,000 residents more light on most days. That it is so far north and relatively isolated probably has a good deal to do with the nature of the music here on It Flows Between Us, Aksberg’s first release, where introspective minimalist piano shares a space with reflective ambient pieces, often together, with hints of experimentalism and dreamlike surrealism. While the details of the instrumentation that Aksberg uses to create the album’s ten pieces are not given, one can hear piano, analog and digital synths, acoustic and electric guitars, perhaps bass, and various field recordings from time to time, though the guitars are rarely played conventionally, with “12” being a notable exception where an acoustic guitar offers a simple backdrop for synthesized mallets, piano, and other sounds, at a gently moving forward pace with plenty of studio reverb and effects.

    The opening piece, “Virtuality,” offers something of a simple neo-classical based piano melody that wanders freely, later joined by synths, all swimming in a heady brew of studio treatments. “Airportwait,” that follows the opener, is driven by an even more gentle piano figure inside a denser shell of electronics with some curious found sounds triggering in the background, seemingly very Eno-esque, while its follow-on, “At Breakneck Speed,” is anything but, slowly emerging from some shimmering space, with only very muted melodic hints within the shards of glissando guitar. Many of the pieces here, like the title track, have a somewhat experimental floating ambient feeling, with some seemingly imagined melodic fragments and textures that peek out through the curtain at various times, like the aurora shimmering under the starlit night. The longest track at eleven-plus minutes, “Never Ending Journey” is an ongoing evolution of sorts, always moving and shifting through an ever-changing labyrinth of soundtrack-like textures. -Peter Thelen

  2. Reviews Editor

    From Audion #74

    Coming from north of the Arctic Circle in Alta, Norway, Arin knows all about living in isolation and the challenges of nature. This he attempts to reflect in the mood of his music, which is often pianistic, but with lots of synthetics too, as well as making use of environmental elements. The moods of such music can range from the mysteriously beautiful to melancholic to the really deep or sonically panoramic. Often the mood is not so far from the Jeff Greinke release reviewed here, yet Arin also goes to much stranger realms that don’t really resemble anyone else at all. -Alan Freeman

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