Expressionism is not dead. It took other forms, other sensations. With my wide-ranging definition, you could say it never died. Expressionism, for me, is the personal sensibilities of the artist, cultivated, enriched and taken to a shadow-echoing new level, which makes their inner vibrations a palette of spirit, thrusted on a pixelated, digital canvas. Fever Ray is an expressionist, in the way that David Lynch is. She (Karin Dreijer-Andersson, one half of The Knife) will not justify her sensibilities, or give you convoluted academic answers to why she does what she does. She does it because she feels it. This type of artist, the eccentric one, who is a commercial oddity, tapping into a dark interior, quiet and brainless, all-nerves, is special: they want you only to feel. That feeling is like the awe you experience as a kid when you first see Snow White and the Seven Dwarves or The Wizard of Oz. Some sort of dark world unfolds in front of you and permeates the skin of your imagination.
Fever Ray came out with her album in early 2009. I’ve been into Dreijer for a while. This post is past-due. Her work and her cryptic lyrics often draw upon an inner curiosity, an imagination gone haywire, unravelling into other voices, mantras, dreamwebs, confusions. Much of it is reflective, and seemingly built upon solitary moments. It is no wonder that the Scandinavian musician has said she recorded the album in the early hours, at dawn, before her children were awake. She shares similarities with Kate Bush in that her songs are usually personal appeals that accumulate and overflow; watery, sliding vocals, pleas, alone, charged. This is the best type of music. She makes it for herself.
As we learned while the videos and stage shows and Nick Cave and Vashti Bunyan covers slowly trickled out after the album, a feeling was emerging. Kenneth Anger meets Kate Bush as played buy a girl who fell through a hole in the closet…into another dimension-everything strange, unique, defiant, otherworldly, fresh, lost and unredeemed. Fever Ray is where music needs to be.
BEST BEST BEST BEST BEST
SERIOUSLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT ANYMORE.
Studies show that lesbians have a higher body mass and are generally less concerned about weight issues than heterosexual women, and lesbians consider women with higher body mass indexes to be more attractive than heterosexual women do. Lesbians are more likely to exercise regularly than heterosexual women, and lesbians do not generally exercise for aesthetic reasons, although heterosexual women do. Research is needed to determine specific causes of obesity in lesbians.
Commissioned by Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma to write the music for their opera based on Charles Darwin and his book ‘On the Origin of the Species’, The Knife decided to make this a collaborative process, working with artists Mt. Sims and Planningtorock for the first time, to capture the huge width of the Darwin and evolution theme. They extensively researched Darwin related literature and articles, with Olof attending a field recording workshop in the Amazon to find inspiration and to record sounds. ‘Tomorrow, In A Year’ is a unique musical project. Richard Dawkins’s gene trees have formed the basis of some of the musical composition, artificial sounds have been mixed with field recordings, with the music inspired by everything from the different stages of a bird learning its melody, to a song based on Darwin’s loving letters about his daughter Anne. These are compositions that challenge the conventional conception of opera music. Pushing the experimental process further still, composer, choreographer, costume designer and set designer worked separately, only coming together 3 and a half months before the first performance of ‘Tomorrow, In A Year’ in Copenhagen on the 2nd September 2009. Described as “shifting the position of operartic art in a single leap”, further performances of ‘Tomorrow, In A Year’ are confirmed to take place in Athens (8-9 Jan), Stockholm (29 Jan-1 Feb), and Munster (5 June), with further dates to be announced. Olof Dreijer says: “At first it was very difficult as we really didn’t know anything about opera. We’d never been to one. I didn’t even know what the word libretto meant. But after some studying, and just getting used to opera’s essence of pretentious and dramatic gestures, I found that there is a lot to learn and play with. In fact, our ignorance gave us a positive respectless approach to making opera. It took me about a year to become emotionally moved by an opera singer and now I really do. I really like the basic theatrical values of opera and the easy way it brings forward a narrative. We’ve approached this before in The Knife but never in such a clear way.”