Anna Von Hausswolff, Noveller

When: Sat., Dec. 14, 5 p.m. 2013

As a death-fearing sissy, I was initially troubled by Swedish pianist Anna von Hausswolff's latest release, Ceremony. Just scanning through the track list was enough to send me cowering in the recesses of my apartment, and I sheepishly skipped past "Deathbed" and "Funeral for My Future Children" on that first listen. However, once I inevitably became enveloped in the soft calm of the organ's drone, and the startling beauty in the physicality of von Hausswolff's voice, that ever-present fear turned to fascination, then to reverence. And though some of her songs can certainly skulk—like "No Body," which could effectively score a highly realistic psycho thriller—vitality is restored in the life-affirming major scales of "Mountains Crave," and the unbearably breathtaking "Liturgy of Light." Ceremony is a truly lovely balance of light and dark, control and abandon, and other familiar dichotomies that will outlive us all. RAQUEL NASSER

Price: $10

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