Album review: Latvian Radio Choir, Mythes Étoilés (Aurora)


While most British and European vocal ensembles continue to mine and refine the works of a Renaissance religious tradition, the Scandinavian “Concrescence” project is dedicated to exploring new forms of vocal technique, with spectacular results on Mythes Étoilés. The guttural groaning and Reichian ululations of Anders Hillborg's “Mouyayoum” create a trance-like mist of enveloping overtones, echoing the soothing harmonic resonances of Cage's “Four2” and Ligeti's “Lux Aeterna”. More dynamic activity marks Mārtinš Vilums' “Gāw ēk-dād kard”, whose low, resonant tones animate a creation myth about primeval oxen, and Lasse Thoresen's three-part title-track, a masterpiece of unexpected vocal sounds wrought into an extraordinary whole.

Download: Mythes Étoilés; Mouyayoum; Gāw ēk-dād kard; Four2; Lux Aeterna