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How To Translate Emotional States Into Landscapes John Robinson considers Marko Nyberg's internal struggles with Solveig

How To Translate Emotional States Into Landscapes

John Robinson considers Marko Nyberg's internal struggles with Solveig

by John Robinson,
first published: April, 2024

approximate reading time: minutes

As with his previous release, Solveig sounds like an abstracted prism of future imagery

MARKO NYBERG
Solveig LP
(El Camino Records)
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Nyberg, leader of ambient pop band Husky Rescue, is also one of Finland’s most respected composers for film and television music. His music tends to the cinematic, rich layered, electronic looped pieces with phased brass and distortion translating emotional states into landscapes, or vice versa. His EP Ingrid, which I reviewed last year, used his own internal struggles and the shimmeringly beautiful desolation of northern Sweden to transcendent effect.

The album Solveig continues this, nine stunningly realised soundscapes, each accompanied by a moving portrait, and the whole to be released alongside a visual record of his skills, MASS, a live performance of music, visuals and dance filmed on a fortress island.Marko NybergAs with his previous release, Solveig sounds like an abstracted prism of future imagery, a release from an apocalyptic future. Gentle electronics bubbling beneath the relatively gentle opener Birth contrast with the treated violin sound, the alien signals from our future, either to save or remove us. Even the moving portraits which accompany these pieces have an uncanny sense to them, an eerie feeling as if these are aliens attempting to mimic this lost civilisation. Earth is a tense, dark track, the drum pattern and clicks semi-martial in tone. Exit has vocals from Ringa Manner of Finnish avant-pop ensemble Ruusut, with a dark warning that the worst has already happened. “make your way towards the exit sign… we are about to see how history forgets”, or how history ends. On Solveig the title track’s choppy, poignant piano opening is crackling, falling apart with us, before erupting into more cavernous, cathedral size motifs, a dream-pop synth line. Lif is a gentle interlude into Water, with its insistent throbbing, electronic pulse, telling us that even without our history, after the most final of conflicts, life remains, be it bacterial or viral. Or just the life of the water, that infiltrates, erodes and changes its environment, destructive as a human, but vital to any continuing ecosystem.

Mourn is an elegy, a paean to our lost future – should we choose to forgo it. A short, highly abstract interlude called Birk, with skittering rhythms and based around the sound of bells, brings us to Eureka, the final track, current single and another vocal from Ringa Manner. Eureka was a proposed French alternative to the US orbital defence initiative against nuclear attack, championed by Ronald Reagan and nicknamed “Star Wars”. A beautiful, pensive track, with multi-tracked angelic vocals and vocalisation, as Ringa in the role of Eureka declares “I am here, it is quiet, you don’t have to worry”, as if in the very post of the apocalypse, as the defence satellite carries on with its duty, orbiting our planet for eternity, as it does not die with us, and new life returns.

Solveig is a beautiful, devastating piece of music taken as a whole, the tension of our current lives and the direction of humanity as a whole considered as part of the continued story of Earth, with the ever present, always ignored fact: we are merely one chapter, life continues in our silence, you don’t have to worry.


essentials
Images of Marko Nyberg by Max Smeds

John Robinson

Based in Scunthorpe, England. A writer and reviewer, working as a Computer Science and Media Lecturer and Educator. Sometimes accused of being a music writer called John Robinson, which is not helped by being a music writer called John Robinson. @thranjax
about John Robinson »»

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