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    Clockworking
    Album
    Clockworking
    Artist
    Nordic Affect
    Label
    Dorian Sono Luminus
    Released
    2015

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Songs We Love: Nordic Affect, 'Clockworking'

Songs We Love

Songs We Love: Nordic Affect, 'Clockworking'

01Clockworking
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/422862575/422870128" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Buy Featured Music

    Song
    Clockworking
    Album
    Clockworking
    Artist
    Nordic Affect
    Label
    Dorian Sono Luminus
    Released
    2015

    Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

The Icelandic group Nordic Affect has commissioned new works for its forthcoming album, Clockworking. i

The Icelandic group Nordic Affect has commissioned new works for its forthcoming album, Clockworking. David Oldfield hide caption

toggle caption David Oldfield
The Icelandic group Nordic Affect has commissioned new works for its forthcoming album, Clockworking.

The Icelandic group Nordic Affect has commissioned new works for its forthcoming album, Clockworking.

David Oldfield

Iceland might be small and isolated but the country's music scene is substantial, resonating far beyond the island nation. One Icelandic group that thrives on both new and old classical music is Nordic Affect. Formed in 2005, the quartet of women is equally at home playing 17th century dance music and newly commissioned works like Clockworking, the title track from its forthcoming album.

Once the piece gets up to speed, from its slowly churning opening, you feel like you've stepped inside a giant clock. Gears of various sizes click and spin at their own pace — some interlock, others whir along independently. The effect is calming, a Gothic stateliness.

Nordic Affect's artistic director Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir thinks of Clockworking as an rendezvous between human and machine. It harks back to a time, she says, when "rhythmical repetitions permeated life, be it through the chopping of wood, making of butter or spinning of yarn."

The sounds come from a trio of strings — violin, viola and cello — plus electronics. It's the brainchild of composer María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, member of the indie band amiina, which served as the string section for Sigur Rós. And one more indie Icelandic connection: Clockworking was mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson, the proprietor of Greenhouse Studios and an engineer who's frequently teamed with Iceland's greatest export — Bjork.

Nordic Affect's album Clockworking is released July 31.

Purchase Featured Music

Clockworking

Purchase Music

Buy Featured Music

Album
Clockworking
Artist
Nordic Affect
Label
Dorian Sono Luminus
Released
2015

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

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