hel·low (ˈhelō/) exclamation. A salutation embodying the vibrant energy found in the color yellow.

20 November 2013

An Icelandic Audio Odyssey, Finally We Are No One

Before I understood maps or geothermal currents, I pictured Greenland as a land of trees, plants, and vegetation--greenery--and Iceland to be a frozen tundra, frigid and white--icy. This naivety led me to believe the opposite. The namesake of Greenland and Iceland are almost polar opposites, for while they are both near the North Pole, their climates are immensely varied. Iceland is a land of extremes--from volcanic thermal heat to icy glacial coldness. Despite the extremes, the small island has a fairly moderate and consistent temperature. It is a beautiful place filled with many natural wonders. It is a place for the imagination to wander and reflect. It is only appropriate that the nation has produced artists representing this personality.

múm is an Icelandic experimental music group. Adopting a dreamlike quality with their unique concoction of sounds creates a refreshing brand of music that resonates with an imaginative spirit. In their 2002 album, Loksins Erum Við Engin (Finally We Are No One), this creative sound pushes the listeners' thoughts to places often untouched or forgotten, such as the ability to truly imagine and reflect from within oneself. Finally We Are No One is a playful odyssey of the subconscious. As as a whole, the simple but unique form of the art and music is found in the sound. The childlike voices reflect the peaceful innocence of exploratory thoughts. Like the naivety of a child, such as my ignorance surrounding the ecological states of Greenland and Iceland, the album celebrates these virgin thoughts, not tampered by adult actions and concerns.

When listening, the album elicits a unique feeling that is not often excited by music. It is not a "pump up" sound or nostalgic tune or bluesy act of sad emotions, but a gentle touch on more tender feelings. It draws upon the small things, subtle details and little sounds. It is pure and difficult to express in another medium. While the soft voices convey the pureness of innocence, the pattering of varied sounds embodies the minimal amount of emotion necessary to touch the listener. The slow cadence of the music is calming, putting the listener at peace to encourage introspection. It balances delicately on a small wave of feeling that moves between the small troubles and ripples of hope. It is ideal for reflection and cannot fit in varied forms, which leaves it appropriately perfect.

Finally We Are No One strips away the titles that  border one's subconscious. Removing the clutter from the mind, it lets a gentle wave wash over tender thoughts and carry them to new shores.

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