Thus far, I’ve talked about the well known ambient masters. And I will again. But there are those that are little known, some even unknown. Without a question, many of them are as good as the masters. Tor Lundvall is definitely one of these. He’s little known and yet he creates some of the most haunting, and sometimes fearful, sound canvasses that I have ever heard. I first came across Tor Lundvall in a mailing, where he sent music to listen to in the hopes that I’d write up a review for MusicTAP. Not only did I listen, I became captivated. To this day, I think of his music.
Tor Lundvall‘s music can be construed as dark, sometimes very dark ambient music. Of course, he’s not alone in this style. But what sets each artist apart is their ability to create their own, extremely unique world of sound. It’s how you remember them after hearing their works. Lundvall seemingly has a fascination with seasons and what each contain within their borders. He is even more fascinated with the shadows that lie between their transition from one to the other. More so the shadows that lie in inside.
The first time I heard Tor Lundvall was his excellent Yule album. Designed to tap the short period of the Christmas holiday from the ending hours of Thanksgiving through the early parts of January. The full month of activity between the wane of Thanksgiving and the arrival of December 25 is a bustling period. Within there are bouts of anticipation, happiness, even stress that fill its hours. After the official end of the holidays, as we skate into the new year, there is a foreboding sense of falling back into a routine, often not a welcomed one. The two weeks that January brings after the close of September has a feel to it that can be dark as realizations sets in that all of the pleasures of family, gifts, and happy faces are slipping into oblivion. Lundvall’s Yule EP captures this feeling well with this 2006 work.
Still, Yule isn’t all that he has done. Tor Lundvall has several titles beginning with his 1997 Passing Through Alone, a privately distributed issue that is now available on his website. Since, he has issued his seasons-themed works in limited editions on CDs, LPs, cassettes, even multi-CD Boxed selections. Recently, he released a 5CD box, Structures And Solitude, which packages two out of print titles, Empty City (2006), and Last Light (2004), along with two titles previously only available on LPs (Sleeping And Hiding – 2009, The Shipyard – 2012) , and a bonus CD of 18 vignettes entitled Night Studies.
Tor Lundvall is also a painter with many extraordinary works available as prints. You will find his visual works as fascinating as you would his aural trips into sound. All of his albums are featured with his original paintings. He has also painted album covers for other artists including a Blue Note reissue of the Miles Davis Box, The Blue Note And Capitol Recordings (1993).
I highly recommend his music.