Ellen Arkbro will soon release CHORDS, a new album on James Ginzburg’s Subtext.

CHORDS follows the experimental Stockholm composer’s highly acclaimed long-player debut, For Organ and Brass, and sees her adopting a more minimalist approach. Focus is on the immediate qualities of sound and expanding the tonal capacities of acoustic instruments using precise, subtle synthesis. It stretches, extends, and obscures the timbral character of the instruments it is performed on.

The release is divided into two tracks. “CHORDS for organ” was first envisaged in Stockholm’s Västerort Church but recorded in Malmö’s St. John’s Church. With an interest in tuned intervals and chords, Arkbro sought out particular harmonicities before synthetically supplying additional harmonic content and texture. 

In the corresponding “CHORDS for guitar,” Arkbro applies her process to a more widely accessible instrument. The track places the listener at the center of a cyclically repeating complex of harmonic strings in wave-like motion. 

We’re told that the work allows for a form of listening that goes beyond the mere reception of outer stimuli by letting the listener experience their role as active, and as embodying the sound itself. 


01. CHORDS for organ

02. CHORDS for guitar

CHORDS LP lands June 7 via Subtext Recordings, with an edit of “For Organ” streaming below.