Julianna Barwick says the weather is beautiful in Brooklyn. She just rode her bike for the first time in a long time. But she misses Iceland.
Two years ago, she was recording her album Nepenthe there. Sigur Ros producer Alex Somers invited her to record with him and the result is a precious thing. A wandering sound that has the same ethereal quality of her earlier albums but with new intention, new depth and new voices.
As Barwick's angelic voice loops in and around itself she's joined by others, including her mother, and the various friends and daughters of the Sigur Ros clan.
"In Iceland it wasn't so much a choir-choir as it was friends of the band and daughters of band members," she says. "It wasn't too formal or super-pro or anything, which was actually really great because it was more relaxed and friendly. I've always thought about having younger voices on my record so this was kind of the perfect thing."
It is the perfect thing. It's music that slows you to yourself. It's the antidote to the tweets and tasks of daily life and she will be bringing it to Halifax this month as part of the OBEY Convention.
In a decision of pure programming perfection, Julianna will be the closing act of OBEY, bringing to a close the innovative and experimental journey that is this festival.
It's fitting that she will be bringing Nepenthe here.
She says the name comes from ancient Greek mythology. It is said to be a potion used "to induce forgetfulness of something sorrowful or painful." There's a reference to nepenthes in The Odyssey---"Then Helen, daughter of Zeus, took other counsel. Straightway she cast into the wine of which they were drinking a drug to quiet all pain and strife, and bring forgetfulness of every ill."
Barwick will be this salve for those who obey. Her lyricless lustre will entrance. Her dulcet tones will elevate. And if we're lucky she will bring with her that bikeable Brooklyn beauty, heralding the dawn of a new season.
Sunday, May 25, 7:30pm
Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts