“Pharos” is the latest single from Norwegian Modern Classical pianist/composer released on Fyrlyd records on February 23rd. It is the first track released since his acclaimed 2016 album “Indiepiano”.
According to Lars : “Sometimes you need to get out of your studio. There is an old lighthouse a few miles from my home, and the area is just so beautiful. Windy, Sunny and with a wide view to the North Sea, it’s a great place to clear your mind and get inspiration. There is a small art gallery with a piano next to the lighthouse, and I got to borrow the keys for a couple of days. I ended up writing and recording Pharos.”
“Pharos” refers to the lighthouse Pharos of Alexandria in Egypt which is one of the seven wonders of the world and the archetype for all lighthouses. There are various forms of symbolism for lighthouses from the darker side like danger or risk through to the lighter side of being alert and navigating through rough waters.
The music on Lars’ single falls in the latter side of the symbolism equation. The music is open, light, grand and with a sense of melody and narrative. Lars lives on the Southwest Coast of Norway, a windswept area and his music has been described as having an icy sound that is truly Nordic. This doesn’t come through in the piece.
The track opens with measured mid paced tones that are joined by a melodic, but airy violin drone section before the track moves in a cinematic direction that conjures up images of the sky, clouds and being above things. For a modern classical piece it has a fair amount of ambiance embedded in it. The music moves from this section to one that is similar to the start of the track and is quite melancholic which rather quickly changes the tone and feeling of the piece. The music has a raw quality to it where you can hear the idiosyncrasies of the piano and it lends to a more intimate recording. The track ends with a return to quicker paced playing alongside the restrained violin which nicely ends the track.
This is the first piece of music from Lars Jakob Rudjord that I have heard and I am curious to hear more. The feeling for me is of a soundtrack composer in a modern classicalists skin such is the visual feeling of the material. As it only goes for a little over three minutes on length you will be pressing start all over again. Recommended.