Eternal Words is the debut album from Tomas Nordmark, an experimental Swedish sound artist, composer and designer living and working in London, United Kingdom. Nordmark was educated at the University of Linköping in Sweden where he studied Audio Culture and Contemporary Art. His compositions and works have been featured in short films, theatre plays and in exhibitions.
The slow and evolving phase-shifting compositions on ”Eternal Words” are based on the same principle used by the American minimalists (specifically Terry Riley and Steve Reich), while the melodic textures are based on ancient Scandinavian music and sacred hymns — a tonality far from the downtown NYC avant garde. With this juxtaposition ”Eternal Words” builds a forward-looking electronic soundscape, escaping the repetitive loop of contemporary time without imposing any specific stylistic dogma.
This permutation between the past and present breathes the same air as the late British cultural theorist Mark Fisher’s texts on the future of popular culture when the present has stagnated; ”When the present has given up on the future, we must listen for the relics of the future in the unactivated potentials of the past.” The music of ”Eternal Words” contemplates on this notion of cultural anachronism as a folding timeline.
”Eternal Words” is based on a strict process as an attempt to sideline the self and intuition of the artist. Both the composing strategy and sound program- ming are based on xed values, permutations and phasing melodies — processed by a single digital synth and sound processor.
This practice is the very core of ”Eternal Words” and is accompanied by slow and abstract video works made by Nordmark. The final touch of the album was made by the Japanese mastering engineer and ambient musician Chihei Hatakeyama.
While the sounds and compositions of ”Eternal Words” stand on their own, they might also overlap the works by contemporary composers such as Tim Hecker, Fennesz or Alva Noto.
“ ‘Human,’ an electronic instrumental by the Swedish composer Tomas Nordmark, has a meditative, nearly ambient foundation: sustained, consonant tones like distant horns. But the foreground is jittery, full of unpredictable, glassy tones that briefly hover, then disappear. Mood: inscrutable.”
- Jon Pareles / The New York Times
"Each track is a heavenly, palate-cleansing series of minty-fresh synthesised drones and bleeps that manage to tell stories that resolve without even hinting at melody."
- THE GUARDIAN