Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Pär Boström: Ambient maestro
From observing events such as the The Bergen International Festival, Lord Bassington-Bassington has picked up the idea that a festival should have a festival composer. So when it was time for the first Little Storping in-the-Swuff Howard Phillips Lovecraft, Lewis Theobald III and Sundry Mythos Writers Cinematographic Festival (and Open Absinthe Bar), it was clear that in addition to food, drinks, snacks and, of course, films, one needed a composer whose name could add glamour to the proceedings.
Luckily, the choice was exceedingly simple. It simply could not be any other than that Swedish creator of masterful dark ambience, Pär Boström.
Mr. Boström is best known under the moniker Kammarheit, under which he has produced a small string of excellent releases. But his last record – on Canadian label Cyclic Law – was under the name Cities Last Broadcast.
(Kammarheit releases, available here.)
However, Lord Bassington-Bassington first became acquainted with Mr. Boström’s music in a somewhat different context. Some years ago, graphic artist and Solblot drummer Mr. Kvant of Scania produced a highly limited, hand-made compilation of Lovecraftian sounds from a small selection of Swedish musicians, accompanied by Mr. Kvant’s graphic renderings of the sunken island of R’Lyeh. The compilation contained tracks from Swedish ambient makers Myling and Marcus Lönebrink, and, of course, Mr. Boström. Lord Bassington-Bassington is lucky enough to own a copy of this compilation, and he has taken to using a track my Mr. Boström from it as an introduction when he gives lectures on H.P. Lovecraft (as he sometimes does). One might even say that opening his lectures with Mr. Boström's track “The Ritual” has become, well, a ritual.
(R'Lyeh, as imagined by Mr. Kvant of Scania.)
Whichever name he chooses to work under, Mr. Boström's involvement seems to be a guarantee of quality. His sound, while comfortably conforming with the conventions of the Dark ambient genre, and thus not too different from, say, a band like Inade, stand out by their sheer craftsmanship. His music creates atmospheric cocoons conductive to soft, dark dreams. Such cocoons are more needed than ever in this increasingly noisy, garishly lit world.