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by Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

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Simulacra I 05:35
Simulacra II 07:36
Snow 01:00
Reyja 05:05
Saccades 06:01
Venia 06:24


Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason are two composers used to shrugging off the distinction between experimental sound-art and deeply felt melodies. Frost’s vast, blackened post-industrial works often crystallize in moments of quiet beauty before disintegrating in pure visceral noise; Bjarnason’s orchestral music marries brutal modernism to classical aesthetics one moment and soaring ethereal harmonies the next. And yet here, on the tail of two widely acclaimed releases; Bjarnason’s PROCESSIONS and Frost’s BY THE THROAT, we are given something altogether new. A unique collaboration, SÓLARIS is a quiet, stilled and all consuming symphonic suite at once as affecting and uncanny as the science- fiction classic that inspired it.

The power of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris is not in its futuristic sets, or in the hypnotic shots of the alien planet’s weird, fluid surface, but it’s in the way he juxtaposes his alien, futuristic elements against the intimately familiar. This is a future not just of flashing lights and video screens, but of wood and wool and leather, of dogs and horses, books and photographs. In Frost & Bjarnason’s SÓLARIS we do find the futuristic, gaseous atmospheres and pulses one might expect from a sci-fi soundtrack. Yet here they are carved instead from the warm, fragile sonorities of a string orchestra -Poland’s Sinfonietta Cracovia- a gently prepared piano whose harmonies warp and melt before transforming again—and waves upon waves of guitar.

Created through a unique series of processes, Frost & Bjarnason’s initial sketches —improvised to the film— were fed through software designed to correct music which tried to turn their dense and distorted sonic input into a digital sequence of raw musical data. Working from data riddled with error and misunderstanding, a human score was orchestrated; the whole process deftly mirroring the core of the film’s own narrative of memory and loss, alien doppelgängers and emotional feedback loops. Brian Eno —who consulted closely in the creation of SÓLARIS— also used the same film to create a video accompaniment to this music in another strange loop of computer-generated distortion.

But here the score stands on its own. SÓLARIS; a journey into an internal world, into the self, a flux of wonder, horror, sorrow and tenderness, and a ravishing sensory experience.

“Slow but spellbinding...exploration of tonal and textural ambience.” – Halcyon

“A sparse, deeply moving piece.” – Filter Magazine


released November 7, 2011


Written by Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason

Arranged and Conducted by Daníel Bjarnason

Performed by Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason with Sinfonietta Cracovia

Produced By Valgeir Sigurðsson & Ben Frost

Recorded by Daniel Rejmer & Valgeir Sigurðsson at Alvernia Studios, Alwernia, Poland

Assisted by Piotr Witkowski & Krzysztof Bielewicz

Alvernia Studios Managed by Łukasz Poniński

Additional Programming, Software Manipulation & Air Support by Paul Corley

Live sound by Daniel Rejmer

Additional Recording by Paul Evans at Greenhouse Studios, Reykjavík Iceland

Assisted by Clément Lemennicier, Jérémy Joseph Vachet & Luke Howard

Greenhouse Studios Managed by Sturla Mio Þórisson

Mixed and Mastered by Valgeir Sigurðsson at Greenhouse Studios, Reykjavík Iceland

Vinyl Mastering by Lupo, at Dubplates, Berlin


Sinfonietta Cracovia

Robert Kabara - orchestra leader

Maciej Lulek

Małgorzata Szuba-Kmiecik

Marcin Kmiecik

Aleksandra Honcel

Katarzyna Blajda

Marcin Hałat

Izabela Szlachta-Dowgiałło

Piotr Marciak

Robert Milewski

Danuta Brandys

Justyna Duda-Krane

Danuta Augustyn

Lilianna Adamska

Stanisław Słowiński

Ewa Szczepańska-Chwast

Aneta Dumanowska

Ryszard Sneka

Rafał Daszkiewicz

Żanna Laszkiewicz

Jan Tomala

Tomasz Wyroba

Alina Dorożyńska

Marcin Mączyński

Jan Kalinowski

Beata Urbanek-Kalinowska

Piotr Bylica

Michał Skiba

Grzegorz Klimczak

Jakub Strycharz

Ryszard Haba

Tomasz Sobaniec


Cover photographed by Börkur Sigþórsson

Gaffer Ásgrimur Guðbjartsson

Styling Ellen Loftsdóttir

Make up Steinunn Þórðardóttir

Art department Heimir Sverrisson

Artwork by Brian Eno and Nick Robertson

Assisted by Anastasia Afonina

Design and Layout by Frosti Gnarr



A concept by Mat Schulz

Commissioned and Produced by Mat Schulz and Gosia Plysa for Unsound Festival / Fundacja Tone, Krakow, Poland

Assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body

Made possible with the support of "I, CULTURE" - The International Cultural Programe of the Polish Presidency of the EU Council, Co-ordinated by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Poland - and S.T.E.F, Iceland


Mat Schulz and Gosia Plysa, Niamh Burke-Neff, Rafał Nowicki and all at Unsound Festival, Chris Woods, Olaf Bohn and all at Ableton, Tim Hecker, Lawrence English, Nicolas Bohnet and all at Rolex, Brian Eno, Nadia Sirota, Jerzy Madeja, Cupcake Corner Krakow, Hildur Maral Hamiðsdóttir, Petter Ekman, Mulla Bing, Andy Rantzen

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Ben Frost

The music of Ben Frost is about contrast; influenced as much by Classical Minimalism as by Punk Rock and Metal, Frost's throbbing guitar-based textures emerge from nothing and slowly coalesce into huge, forbidding forms that often eschew conventional structures in favor of the inevitable unfoldings of vast mechanical systems. ... more

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