If the Swedish group name Skuggorna Och Ljuset does not ring any bells, then the names of some of its members may help jog the memory—Magnus Granberg on clarinet, Anna Lindal on violin, Leo Svensson Sander on cello, Erik Carlsson on percussion. Yes? Well, all four of them have previously figured on Another Timbre releases as members of the larger ensemble Skogen, in particular playing the Granberg compositions "Ist gefallen in den Schnee" and "Despairs Had Governed Me Too Long".
“The Swede Magnus Granberg has rapidly become a key member of the Another Timbre family, this being his fifth album on the label in under four years, with four of those being his own compositions. Those familiar with Granberg's past AT releases will be delighted to hear that How Deep is the Ocean, How High is the Sky? follows the familiar pattern of the others. As before, it employs material derived from another song—in this instance, Irving Berlin's "How Deep is the Ocean"—but there are few, if any, traces of the original in evidence. Instead, the piece establishes a pleasantly melancholy mood that typifies Granberg compositions.
Magnus Lindberg burst onto the contemporary music scene in the 1980s with his early work Kraft (as in "power", and not the American food conglomerate and inventor of Velveeta cheese by-product substance), an avant-garde spectacular that took the "sound mass" procedures of Berio or Xenakis and wedded them to an explosive rhythmic energy. He's broadened his style since then, taking in tonal elements and even the occasional tune, but the rhythmic vitality remains, and his coloristic gifts, his ear for ever new and remarkable instrumental sound combinations, have only increased. Aura is a four-movement symphony as indescribable as it is a joy to hear. Dedicated to the memory of Lutoslawski, the piece shows its composer similarly possessed of a vibrant, communicative personal musical language. Although it plays continuously for about 37 minutes, newcomers to Lindberg's sound creations should start with the finale, a sort of dance that begins with simple tunefulness before finding itself in a sort of riotous minimalist hell. It's hugely fun, as is the entire work.