Daniela Orvin – Home

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Daniela Orvin is a classically-trained musician and lens-based artist with dual heritage between Germany and Israel. She’s made work for the Jewish museum in Berlin and founded artist-run photography spaces as well as working with children on community arts projects.

This CD is released on Seasides on Postcards, which Orvin is instrumental in. The label released the accomplished dub techno release from M.Rahn, Paradise is Closed, and whilst Orvin’s is a piano-based release, it too sails through a dubby mist.

It begins like a documentary recording of piano practice before falling quickly into piano-dub as the verité moments dissolve. There’s the lulling of rich, well produced synthscapes over two tracks which refine a four chord sequence into bare bass tones. It seems welcoming to begin with this soft hypnogogic entrée.

What follows is a nice union of repetition with development on a journey into an emotive sci-fi landscape with warm and nostalgic shades, a little 1980s Eastern European film score here. 
It’s tender music of warmth and empathy – and I don’t think it’s too much of a leap to state the feeling of ‘self-care’ arises.

As this sequence draws to a close, some ASMR-like elements and delicate electronics flirt with the stereo field, which bookend this first movement of the record, as if winding up this particular window on the studio.

Through spikier shards of top-end piano and decisive chords, alongside complimentary insect-like jittering, female vocals emerge, presumably Orivin’s, which remind me a little of Jóhan Jóhannsson’s Arrival score, and I can hear the sea or perhaps white noise being filtered and cut off. Silence.

And then we are dramatically above the clouds as the dubscapes return. We haven’t left. This track For Now, is the standout moment for me. A gentle clock ticks across my speakers while plaintive vocal loops circle and dance. And it keeps going, developing nicely into a beautiful well thought-out work that, at the end, wouldn’t sound of out place on a Sigur Ros release and certainly Jónsi and Alex releases.

Next, we move into Science of Sea territory next, if you can remember Jürgen Müller’s release a few years back with what sounds like a little analogue modelling going on, resonant of Luke Abbot’s early modular work.

Here now, Orvin deftly plays the piano is if it were a harp. Her piano may be electronic, but it’s a capable sound and suits the electronics and treatment surrounding it, which is polished and human from the fast dancing fingering here and it’s the last lively movement on the CD.

The final two tracks return to a little field recording, here, of city rain, with a composition which would sit very comfortably on an Erased Tapes release. It’s called 18:00 on My Balcony. It also reminded me a little of Michael Nyman’s slower music from End of The Affair which also has a rain theme. Or it could be influenced perhaps by the achingly sad Nyman piece Molly from the score of Wonderland – or none of these elements of course!

The last track on the album is very much it’s own thing, and begins as if John Carpenter made Assault of Precinct 13 as a love story without darkness, and it builds into a sonorous mix of euphoric synthwork blasting away anything that has happened before.

We’ve arrived very much at the end of the film where it’s less about fitting into a particular genre, and more about orchestrating and elevating the day above the minutiae of it.

What is more it’s nice to hear electronic music with a heart and dare I say it, a bit of kindness and this definitely has both. A lovely release.