Sono Luminus will release Icelandic ensemble Nordic Affect’s debut album on the label, Clockworking, featuring the music of five Icelandic women composers – Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Hildur Gudnadóttir, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, Hafdís Bjarnadóttir, and Thurídur Jónsdóttir – on July 31

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Sono Luminus Releases Nordic Affect’s Clockworking

NPR Music “Songs We Love” features Clockworking:

Stream Clockworking, Q2 Music’s Album of the Week:

Watch the premiere of the title track video on Headphone Commute:

Featuring Music by Icelandic Composers Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Hildur Gudnadóttir,
María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, Hafdís Bjarnadóttir, and Thurídur Jónsdóttir

Worldwide Release Date: July 31, 2015

Pre-order on Amazon: | Pre-order on iTunes: |

New York, NY – Sono Luminus will release Icelandic ensemble Nordic Affect’s debut album on the label, Clockworking, featuring the music of five Icelandic women composers – Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Hildur Gudnadóttir, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, Hafdís Bjarnadóttir, and Thurídur Jónsdóttir – on July 31. The album was recorded by Georg Magnússon at The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, with mastering and post-production by Valgeir Sigurdsson.

This week, Q2 Music is streaming Clockworking in its entirety and featuring it as Album of the Week. Q2 describes the release as, “a brilliantly sensitive sound mixed more like up-close ambient music than chamber music, and it’s one of the most evocative releases edging on either category in recent memory.” Read and listen:

NPR Music chose the title track for its “Songs We Love” series, writing, “Once the piece gets up to speed, from its slowly churning opening, you feel like you’ve stepped inside a giant clock. Gears of various sizes click and spin at their own pace — some interlock, others whir along independently. The effect is calming, a Gothic stateliness.” Read and listen:

Clockworking represents collaboration, connection, and passionately fierce creativity. As put by Nordic Affect’s artistic director and violinist Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir: “Clockworking, inhaling, exhaling; through music we immerse ourselves in creativity. We find moments of community and of individuality as we shape sounds from gut and wood. We encounter new spaces and interact with technology, which in turn affects how we play. We meet listeners with whom we connect and at times it feels as though we’re breathing as one.” At the core of each of Nordic Affect’s commissions on this album was the desire to explore the possibilities of their instruments (violin, viola, cello, and harpsichord) within a 21st century aesthetic while at the same time creating their own.

Hailed for its “affectionate explorations” (BBC Music Magazine) and “commitment to their repertoire” (Classical Music), Nordic Affect is Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, violin and artistic director; Gudrún Hrund Hardardóttir, viola; Hanna Loftsdóttir, cello; and Guðrún Óskarsdóttir, harpsichord. The ensemble was formed by a group of period-instrument musicians who are united in their passion for viewing familiar musical forms from a different perspective, and for daring to venture into new musical terrain. Since the group’s inception in 2005, Nordic Affect has played repertoire ranging from the dance music of the 17th century to electronic compositions of today.

The album’s title track, Clockworking for violin, viola, cello and electronics, is by María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir. The piece was written for Nordic Affect and premiered at Iceland Airwaves in 2013.

2 circles for solo violin was written for for Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir by Hildur Gudnadóttir in 2013. The piece is a part of an ongoing observation of the relationship between a musician and her instrument, in which one person becomes two sound sources.

From beacon to beacon for violin, viola, cello and electronics by Hafdís Bjarnadóttir is a “conversation” between two lighthouses. The trio plays notation based on a weather forecast for the Gardskagaviti lighthouse. Electronic sounds were recorded outside the Gardskagaviti lighthouse in wintertime and inside the Galtarviti lighthouse in mid-summer. The piece reflects the vagaries of the Icelandic weather – storms have a beauty of their own that can bring calmness despite howling winds and unruly seas.

INNI – musica da camera for violin and electronics was written for Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir by Thurídur Jónsdóttir in 2013. The subtle and fragile harmonics of the baroque violin interact with a soundscape made of an infant’s murmur, with an old lullaby woven into the texture.

Shades of Silence for violin, viola, cello and harpsichord was written for Nordic Affect by Anna Thorvaldsdottir in 2012. The work explores the subtle nuances of silence.

Sleeping Pendulum for violin and electronics was written for Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir by María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir in the winter months of 2010. The electronic part is based on a recording of Halla’s baroque violin playing combined with bell chimes. The solo part fluctuates between free writing and a stricter style. The work was shortlisted in 2012 at the International Rostrum of Composers.

About Nordic Affect: Nordic Affect can be heard on the Deutsche Grammophon (Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Aerial), Bad Taste Records, Musmap, and Brilliant Classics labels and has received glowing reviews in the international press alongside the Kraumur Award and Iceland Music Awards. Since its debut in 2005, Nordic Affect has performed to critical acclaim at festivals such as TRANSIT festival (BE), Dark Music Days (IS), November Music (NL), BRQ Vantaa Festival (FI), Skálholt Summer Concerts (IS), Copenhagen Renaissance Festival (DK) and Iceland Airwaves (IS). Its members have individually performed and recorded with Jóhann Jóhannsson, The English Concert, Concerto Copenhagen, Anima Eterna Brugge, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, and Björk. In 2013, Nordic Affect was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize and in 2014 was named Performer of the Year at the Iceland Music Awards.

Clockworking | Nordic Affect | Sono Luminus
Release Date: July 31, 2015

1. Clockworking – María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir 07:35
2. 2 Circles – Hildur Gudnadóttir 05:20
3. From beacon to beacon – Hafdís Bjarnadóttir   05:44
4. INNI – musica da camera –  Thurídur Jónsdóttir 08:09
5. Shades of Silence – Anna Thorvaldsdottir 07:34
6. Sleeping Pendulum – María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir 10:07

Total time: 44:29

About Sono Luminus:
Sono Luminus was founded in 1995 by Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack, founders of Cisco Systems. Drawing upon their expertise in digital technologies as well as their love of music, they applied their experiences to realize a life-long dream: to develop and create a new paradigm for recorded sound, dedicated to the realization of true performance fidelity. To achieve this, Sono Luminus adopted a simple philosophy of “less is more,” with a focus on natural, ambient acoustics.

As the first American record label to release audio projects on Pure Audio Blu-Ray technology, Sono Luminus specializes in the highest caliber of audio quality. Not only does this format guarantee the utmost in sonic experience available, it also gives Sono Luminus the ability to provide the consumer with high resolution 192k/24-bit stereo versions as well as 7.1, 96k/24-bit, and 5.1, 192k/24-bit surround sound. They are now expanding the immersive listening experience with the use of Auro-3D 9.1 recordings.

Sono Luminus owns and operates its own, state-of-the-art recording studio located in a nearly 100-year-old former Emmanuel Episcopal Chapel in rural Boyce, VA. In addition to a beautiful natural acoustic created by the 25-foot vaulted wood ceiling over a 35’x65′ original heart pine floor, Sono Luminus Studios has the capability of recording 24 simultaneous channels of audio with sample rates up to DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition) 352kHz/24-bit or DSD (Direct Stream Digital).

Under label CEO Collin Rae, who came to Sono Luminus in fall 2014 after working in the recording industry for many years at Naxos of America and Universal, the label is now focused on creating a unique voice within the vast world of recorded sound, developing relationships with some of today’s most energizing classical music composers and performers. The label’s commitment is to the music, the people who create it, and to recording and releasing it in the most dynamic way possible. In addition to producing new recordings, Sono Luminus also licenses and releases music that aligns with the label’s philosophy and aesthetic under its SL Editions series.

Sono Luminus has received the Audio Engineering Society’s Award of Excellence in High Resolution Audio (2007), nineteen Grammy nominations, one Grammy award for Best Engineered Classical Album in 2009, and one Latin Grammy award for Best Classical Album in 2012.

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