Henrik Meierkord: Zeitreisen (Digital)

Product Description

01. Mitthavet
02. Cello ambient improvisation I
03. Cello ambient improvisation II
04. Cello ambient improvisation III
05. Våren står på lut
06. Doppelgänger I
07. Doppelgänger II
08. Sarabande – Ambient
09. Cello ambient improvisation IV
10. Danza



Dave Aftandilian: "Starkly beautiful instrumental evocations of the emotions winter can stir within us: a hushed pause that allows for deep contemplation; a melancholy feeling that brings a smile rather than a tear; and a sense of the balanced strength and fragility of ice that makes it so mysterious and lovely."


Swedish composer Henrik Meierkord’s main instrument is the cello, though he incorporates other stringed instruments and effect pedals to create the modern minimalistic ambient pieces within the musical cycle of Zeitreisen (German for “time travel.”)


The tracks are interwoven with a restrained Scandinavian melodic mixture of baroque medieval harmonies and neoclassic atmospherics as if pulled from a region that defines sorrow. The mood is long and sacred, understated and graceful, painting an impression of yesteryear to support a bleak folklore filled with life. The tranquility of the modest aural tapestries form dream-like compositions, elegant improvisations, and emotionally charged fragments building with gradual change and evolution. These beautiful and mysterious textures conjure up the concept of “time,” both modern and archaic. Meierkord’s tonal romanticizing of string-fused soundscapes finds emotional stimuli and tension within a deep rootedness to the Swede’s melancholic soul.


ARTIST BIO:


Based in Stockholm, Henrik Meierkord’s cello is his main instrument, though he also masters viola, double bass, & guitar. Bringing a neoclassical approach to his stringed instruments and effects, he has released 9 solo albums and 13 collaborations since 2018. Zeitreisen is Meierkord’s first release for Portland’s Projekt Records, following his performances on Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s The Cleft Serpent (2021) and Aarktica’s Paeans (2023).

Projekt release: December 1 2023

Reviews

  1. Reviews Editor

    From Prog Censor

    Henrik Meierkord lives in Stockholm with his cello (he also has a corner where he arranges alto, double bass and guitar), the instrument he highlights in this time travel (this is the meaning of German “Zeitreisen”) in ten stages, and which he completes with other strings and effects pedals: less avant-garde that her Icelandic consort Hildur Guðnadóttir (she multiplies daring collaborations, from Pan Sonic to Hauschka, through Throbbing Gristle, múm, Animal Collective or Sunn O))) – the cadratin dash is only there to avoid the confusion of parentheses), it slides between time layers with Slow evolutionary sounds (sometimes we think of the American composer Phill Niblock, more melodious), knocking stealthily (like Obelix at Falbala) at the door of the daydream, drawing from a distant past imbued with agnostic religiosity, cultivating melancholic, elongated textures that stretch time as if to give us some no more. -Bernard Vincken

  2. Reviews Editor

    From Exposé

    My only encounter with Henrik Meierkord up to this release was his 2020 collaboration with Jarguna titled Tapestry Flow. That said, the Stockholm based composer, cellist, and multi-instrumentalist has three dozen or more releases, both solo albums as well as collaborations; he played on Black Tape for a Blue Girl’s The Cleft Serpent (2021) as well as Aarktica’s Paeans from 2023.

    With Zeitreisen (the German word for time travel) he uses his cello, plus double bass, viola, and guitar, with an abundance of effects pedals, to create modern neo-classical minimalist soundscapes that generally play well with the floating ambient style of music we review so often at Exposé, even though it’s not borne of synthesizers. The ten tracks at hand, which span from a couple minutes out to seven or more, feature a lustrous shimmering character within which all the various instruments can weave in and out of at will, much like a tapestry of soft metallic colors and shaded nuances. Of particular interest is the four part “Cello Ambient Improvisation” that just floats through your listening space like a magical orb falling out of the night sky. The opener, “Mitthavet,” spins beautifully like a transparent planet on a fractured axis, with all of the beautiful textures swirling through its interior.

    Seemingly drawing influence from ancient times, “Sarabande – Ambient” bears a melancholic flavor that pierces the light with darkness, much like the sad and somber moods that typically surround the cello; a similar feeling is present with the even more introspective “Våren står på lut” as it wanders through the darkest caverns of your sorrow and gloom. The two part “Doppelgänger” provides a more steady shimmering state that exudes a hearty sense of monochrome beauty. The closer, “Danza,” is like no other piece on the album, the pensive strings are mixed together over a bouncy viola figure that guides the piece forward to its conclusion. While initially a listener might find Zeitreisen to be too dark to enjoy, repeat listens slowly reveal the beauty that is contained herein. -Peter Thelen

  3. Reviews Editor

    From Dave Aftandilian at Bandcamp

    Starkly beautiful instrumental evocations of the emotions winter can stir within us: a hushed pause that allows for deep contemplation; a melancholy feeling that brings a smile rather than a tear; and a sense of the balanced strength and fragility of ice that makes it so mysterious and lovely.

  4. Reviews Editor

    From Il Circolo

    Can you create ambient music starting from the sound of a cello? If you are Henrik Meierkord, yes. And great. This Zeitreisen proves it once again, his first solo album for Projekt Records, a label already “frequented” by the Swedish artist thanks to the collaborations with Black Tape For A Blue Girl on the album The Cleft Serpent (dated 2019) and with Aarktica on the very recent Paeans (another historical name his first release for the label, available since last May). I have always considered the success of an ambient album based on its ability to lead the listener through a very personal journey of cosmic dimensions, a rule in my opinion canonized in 1970 by Electronic Meditation by the legendary Tangerine Dream (even if back then we were talking about krautrock) and immediately rose to immutable and untouchable dogma. Well, the string instruments and the effects used by Henrik Meierkord succeed in doing so perfectly, creating a literal “Journey through Time” which between the initial Mitthavet and the final Danza flows through sounds, colours, images and sensations suspended between classical music and avant-garde sound, with particular mention for Våren står på lut, Doppelgänger le Cello ambient improvisation IV. Obviously not an easy album, although much more “concrete” compared to the standards of the genre, but certainly capable of best describing this journey, the notes of which are transcribed without the need for words. Eloistic. -Luca Morzenti

    Original Italian:
    Si può creare musica ambient partendo dal suono di un violoncello? Se si è Henrik Meierkord, sì. E alla grande. A dimostrarlo per l’ennesima volta è questo Zeitreisen, suo primo album solista per la Projekt Records, etichetta comunque già “frequentata” dall’artista svedese grazie alle collaborazioni con Black Tape For A Blue Girl sull’album The Cleft Serpent (datato 2019) e con Aarktica sul recentissimo Paeans (altro nome storico alla sua prima pubblicazione per la label, disponibile dallo scorso maggio). Ho sempre considerato la riuscita di un disco ambient in base alla sua capacità di condurre l’ascoltatore attraverso un personalissimo viaggio di dimensioni cosmiche, regola a mio avviso canonizzata nel 1970 da Electronic Meditation dei leggendari Tangerine Dream (anche se allora si parlava di krautrock) e immediatamente assurta a dogma immutabile e intoccabile. Ebbene, gli strumenti a corda e gli effetti utilizzati da Henrik Meierkord ci riescono alla perfezione, creando un letterale «Viaggio nel Tempo» che fra l’iniziale Mitthavet e la conclusiva Danza scorre attraverso suoni, colori, immagini e sensazioni sospesi fra musica classica e avanguardia sonora, con menzione particolare per Våren står på lut, Doppelgänger le Cello ambient improvisation IV. Un album ovviamente non facile, seppur molto più “concreto” rispetto agli standard del genere, ma di certo in grado di raccontare al meglio questo viaggio, i cui appunti sono trascritti senza bisogno di parole. Eloistico. -Luca Morzenti

  5. Reviews Editor

    From Solenopole

    In his latest opus, Zeitreisen, Swedish composer Henrik Meierkord takes us on a timeless journey through soundscapes where the cello, his instrument of choice, blends harmoniously with a palette of other strings and effects to create a minimalist, modern ambience. Released on the Projekt label, this album paints a sonic picture rich in sober Scandinavian melodies, skilfully fusing medieval baroque harmonies with neo-classical atmospheres, as if extracted from a space devoured by grief.

    The album opens with interwoven pieces that seem to evoke the elegant simplicity of Scandinavian melodies. Meierkord, a master of cello, viola, double bass and guitar, explores the notion of Zeitreisen (time travel) with artistic finesse. The compositions, with their long, sacred ambience, capture sobriety and grace while painting a sense of yesteryear that underpins a dark and vibrant folklore.

    The tranquillity of the modest tapestries of sound forms dreamlike compositions, elegant improvisations and emotionally charged fragments. These beautiful and mysterious textures evoke the very concept of time, fusing the modern with the archaic. Meierkord’s neoclassical approach, tinged with a deep melancholy, finds emotional stimuli and tension in a deep-rooted Swedish soul.

    Stockholm, the artist’s artistic birthplace, seems to resonate in every note, creating a strong emotional bond with the soundscapes. The gradual evolution of the tracks demonstrates a subtle mastery of musical construction, playing with changes and developments that evoke a complex and nuanced temporality.

    Zeitreisen marks Meierkord’s first album for Portland’s Projekt Records, and the collaboration promises to immerse listeners in the artist’s rich and evocative musical universe. Having already made his presence felt on projects such as Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s The Cleft Serpent (2021) and AARKTICA’s Paeans (2023), Henrik Meierkord continues to explore the boundaries of melancholy and wonder through his unique musical language. Zeitreisen is a captivating chapter in the repertoire of this visionary artist, offering a listening experience that transcends time and space.

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