We first discovered the music of Anna Thorvaldsdottir by way of her debut album, with the help of some quality headphones – marveling at the horizon-less landscapes she conjured without the aid of electronics and finding ourselves simply dumbfounded at her sonic teleportation abilities. Listening to her music feels like encountering an ancient, slumbering colossus, and almost inevitably compels one to travel inward into that endless expanse within.
Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s decidedly non-lucrative side hustle is setting the record straight with journalists that no, she does not write music about her home country of Iceland. She does concede that growing up surrounded by the island’s singular landscape inevitably seeps into her worldview, but what we are bewitched by is her ability to create vast sonic panoramas with just a handful of acoustic instruments. Listening to her music feels like encountering an ancient colossus, and almost inevitably compels one to travel inward into that endless expanse within.
Back to planet earth for a moment, our inner nerds are abuzz knowing that Chicago’s own Adler Planetarium is co-producing Anna’s incandescent Enigma with us – and that this 2017 solar-eclipse-inspired piece is enlivened by 360-degree video art projected onto the Adler’s unparalleled Grainger Sky Theater. Her esteemed collaborator Sigurdur Gudjonsson is the artist in question, and those that haven’t yet experienced his work should prime themselves for an immersive visual dive.
It might be said that we enter the planetarium for the same reason we enter the concert hall: to be brought in touch with the sublime and the unknown. In both places we make contact with tangible reality and imagined panoramas, and in both places our sense of perspective is expanded exponentially. Expect Enigma to do exactly that, and strap in for the marquee event of our 2019/20 season.
ENIGMA (2019) – Anna Thorvaldsdottir (composer) & Sigurdur Gudjonsson (video artist)
Major funding for Enigma comes from
Spektral Quartet’s 2019-20 concert season is supported by the generosity of the following foundations. We are so grateful for this funding and the support of the many individuals who give to our organization. If you are interested in supporting our work, please visit spektralquartet.com/donate to learn more.