Randi Pontoppidan & Povl Kristian – Life In Life
With minimal musical means – one piano, one voice and the occasional stardust-shimmer of tinkling bells or subtle electronic loops – Povl Kristian and Randi Pontoppidan summon up a universe of sound on Life in Life. The album is Pontoppidan’s sixth for Chant Records and Kristian’s first.
Kristian’s piano is beautifully documented with great sensitivity amidst a sepulchral-sounding reverb on melodies that contrast stark intensity with delicate lyricism. Legendary voice-as-instrument performer Pontoppidan has such an eclectic approach that, paired with her broad, multi-octave vocal range, she’s closer to a one-woman choir than a conventional soloist. Heard in duo on this continuously engaging suite of eight songs, the effect is rich and powerful, both entrancingly strange and oddly comforting.
Each song adds something special to the story, with a developing sense of alchemical and metamorphic change. Whistles transform into bird calls before turning into synthesized bleeps of pure sound. Pontoppidan can seem to echo the sounds of the natural world or the polyglot speech of an invented language as she explores the outer limits of what a human voice can do. Throughout, the sonic identities of Povl Kristian and Randi Pontoppidan remain resolutely themselves, as if each artist is traveling on parallel lines, meeting at key points to converge and then diverge again. It’s perhaps this sense of separation that makes for such a successful partnership, as neither identity is subsumed by the other. As a result, Life In Life really does develop a life of its own, takes wing and flies.
Povl Kristian has composed prolifically for film, theater and radio. His multi-award winning film career includes work on each of director Nicolas Winding Refn’s ‘Pusher’ trilogy. Randi Pontoppidan is one of the world’s leading vocal performer/improviser/composers. Nominated for Denmark’s Steppeulven award in 2020, her recording career spans three decades. Recent partnerships include working with Paul Hillier’s Theatre of Voices and Sissel Vera Pettersen.
- Crossing The Rubicon
- Juno and Eros
- Ocean Of Bliss
Povl Kristian: Grand piano, Steinway D
Randi Pontoppidan: Voice, Live Electronic Processing, Bells, Pitch Pipe
Recorded at Millfactory Copenhagen
Mixed by Povl Kristian
Mastered by Jan Eliasson
Produced by Povl Kristian & Randi Pontoppidan
Engineers: Jean Riel & Mikkel Mors
Photos: Klaus Holsting
Cover: Sigrún Gudbrandsdóttir
All music © 2022 by Povl Kristian & Randi Pontoppidan. All rights reserved.
Supported by Koda Culture Funds and Danish Art Foundation
Randi Pontoppidan & Sissel Vera Pettersen – Inner Lift
Randi Pontoppidan & Thomas Buckner – Voicescapes
Randi Pontoppidan & Christian Rønn – HEAD¨SPACE
Randi Pontoppidan – ROOMS
Event Horizon (Greg Cohen and Randi Pontoppidan) – Space Geode