on 23 December 2013
Halfdan E sounds like he should be a Euro hip hop DJ operating out of Ibiza, but is in fact an award-winning Danish film and TV composer who also picked up an award for his work on Danish political drama "Borgen". His collection of incidental music from the TV series of course contains the well-known theme tune, and will be the reason for most people purchasing at least that track. The title sequence and stately theme of Borgen were simply one of the best executed front ends to any TV series in recent years. Many of the other very short pieces here will be instantly recognisable to avid viewers (for example, Fieldwork, A Private Moment), for the most part delicately poised snippets of echoey piano, here expanded and embellished slightly with strings or occasional percussion. Imagine fragments of Harold Budd, or, in the case of Floating, something that is initially reminiscent of a Brian Eno/Daniel Lanois collaboration from the "Apollo" album. Battlefields and one or two others has a strange throb in the background that reminds me of Eno's "On Land". If I have one criticism, it is that often the piano motif is dispensed with quite quickly and the rest of the track then drifts away in a rather unfocussed sort of string coda, as if Halfdan E doesn't know how to end a piece satisfactorily. But overall, this is an instrumental album I enjoy listening to when I need something restful that isn't Arvo Part, Eno, Budd or the like.