Album: Haflidi Hallgrimsson, Mini Stories (Signum Classics)

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The Independent Culture

'Mini Stories' features plummy recitations by Simon Callow of the Russian surrealist Daniil Kharms' Kafkaesque tales from the 1930s, interspersed with the Icelandic composer Haflidi Hallgrimsson's modernist musical interludes. Dissonances reflect the grim absurdism of the stories, which have the bearing of aphoristic commentaries on the Stalin era.

It's oddly threatening: brushed drums and dramatic strings provide a full-stop to incidents including death, disease and disappearance, while woodwind ruminates and harmonium adds a miasmic drone.

Download this Incidents/Script; A Suite/Scene; A Sonnet/Rondino