Ellen Arkbro (b. 1990, Stockholm) is a composer and sound-artist primarily working with intervallic harmony in just intonation. Her work includes long duration compositions for ensembles as well as electronic sound environments in the form of installations and live- performances, employing both traditional acoustic instruments as well as digital algorithmic sound synthesis.
Most recent album ‘CHORDS’ on Subtext Recordings sees Arkbro adopt a more minimalist approach than on previous record ‘For Organ and Brass’ (a collaboration with brass trio Zinc & Copper), focusing on the immediate qualities of sound and elegantly expanding the tonal capacities of acoustic instruments using precise, subtle synthesis.
Composed of a carefully selected combination of tones, ‘CHORDS’ stretches, extends and obscures the timbral character of the instruments it is performed on. Across both tracks, Arkbro examines the sonic materiality and harmonic quality of chords. She considers how the compositions occupy space rather than time – transposing theoretical possibilities into the phenomenal realm.
“Listening to Arkbro’s work means listening to chords and nothing else. If that sounds dull, or strict, or technical, then you haven’t heard these chords” – Pitchfork
“The music might be simple, but underneath the surface, lies not just mountains of air, but oceans full of magisterial depth.” – Fluid Radio