CD Review

Tor Lundvall – “Last Light”

By Marcus Pan

Last LightNew York's painter, Tor Lundvall, tries his hand at music on occasion with atmospheric and ambient creations. Distributed by Strange Fortune, his Last Light release is said to be his "strongest to date," regardless of it's minimal make-up and austere appearance. Four previous releases preceded Last Light: Autumn Calls, Ice, The Mist and Under the Shadows of Trees. Here vocals are sparse but meaningful and the finely made cardboard jewel case uses his paintings to fine effect.

Contrary to its name, Rust isn't a scratchy or rusty sounding track at all. Instead it's a brightly built chiming piece set against a comforting wind that opens slowly into The Pond. Tracks will occasionally meld beautifully into one another and cause difficulty differentiating between them as they flow. But each is has its own signature, so this doesn't deter much from the movement and progression of Last Light. You'll eventually realize you're now listening to It's Over Now eventually by the subtle changes in the musical effects. You just won't be sure when it's crept in on you.

A sound break preceding Silver Wash makes this the first time on the album you realize a new song is starting. The musical make-up of this track is similar to the others but adds a bit more lucidity to the chimes and synthetics. An interesting rhythm is built in Storm, creating a much more moving piece than others here for that reason alone. Soft Bipolarity gets very surreal...Tor's ability to use chimes and bell-like sounds to create many different moods and settings here is near genius.

Cold really does have a cold feeling about it, again using simple chime-like synthetic melodies and a spoken word vocal score. Still comes in differently than the others, with a much longer sustain on its notes giving it a stronger appeal. The final track, Lost At Sea, switches up on us and gives us our first non-chimey interface...a slowly tapped piano takes us on a journey to nowhere, imbuing the atmosphere around us with the feeling of...well, being lost. Nicely done, Tor.

Lundvall's work is very atmospheric and can vary between comforting and lucidity. The album itself moves progressively and flows extremely well from track to track. It plays on your senses sparingly, but well. Last Light is a good CD to have as a backdrop for everything from falling asleep to meditation, working to relaxing.

Contact Information:
Strange Fortune
Post: PO Box 440383, Somerville, MA, 02144, USA
Phone: (617) 718-9990
E-Mail: salo (at) strangefortune (dot) com
Web: www.strangefortune.com

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