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Ceremony


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Vinyl, July 9, 2013
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Ceremony + No Fools, No Fun (Amazon Exclusive - 2 Track Bonus Version)
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (July 9, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fat Possum (Ryko)
  • ASIN: B00CV1P95C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,776 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Epitaph of Theodore
2. Deathbed
3. Mountains Crave
4. Goodbye
5. Red Sun
6. Epitaph of Daniel
7. No Body
8. Liturgy of Light
9. Harmonica
10. Ocean
11. Sova
12. Funeral for My Future Children
13. Sun Rise

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

I ordered Singing From the Grave and look forward to sampling therein.
K. Wisman
Bottom line: This is sophisticated, cross-genre pop music that uses its unique instrumentation to great, at times even startling effect.
T. Fisher
I highly recommend this album to any music lover who likes to discover new musical territory.
Jan Schlösser

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jan Schlösser on October 29, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
`Ceremony' is the second album by Swedish pianist Anna von Hausswolff. Just like her debut album did in 2010, `Ceremony' reached rank number 5 in her home country's music charts. She's still a bit of an insider tip outside of Scandinavia, but luckily, her music keeps gathering the attention of more and more online magazines and blogs, so this could change in the near future. And hopefully it will, as she definitely deserves a larger audience.

Now to the actual music: on `Ceremony', Anna von Hausswolff manages to develop her own style - and very unique one. While it was easy to think of references to compare her work to when listening to her debut album `Singing from the Grave', I'm having a hard time to do so for this album. In fact, I can't think of any other artist whose music bears any more than a loose similarity to what Anna is doing here.

What does the music sound like then? Well, the biggest change compared to her debut is that Anna decided to replace her piano with a church organ for her new album. Simply put, one could say that she plays pop songs on the church organ. However, labeling her music just as pop would be an oversimplification. Because, listening to this album, I cannot help but suspect that while preparing her album, she was also listening to some of her father Carl Michael von Hausswolff's recordings, and let those recordings inspire her work on `Ceremony'. That is because said father, a well-known sound artist and composer, tends to use a lot of drones in his work (for example, listen to `800.000 seconds in Harar'). And in fact there are tons of drones on `Ceremony' as well. Just listen to `Deathbed'!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nik on March 2, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Overall this is a great album that requires some patience to appreciate. Each time I listen to it I discover a new song I didn't like last time. The highlights for me are "Mountains Crave", "Red Sun", and "Ocean". Anna's got a lot of character in her voice and she's not afraid to let it loose. This album is certainly something different.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 22, 2013
Format: Audio CD
This is my first exposure to Anna von Hausswolff, and I must say I've come away impressed. Many people, and that includes me in spades, often seem to be comforted by comparing new music to things they have heard before, so I'll start there.

What drew me in at first were the simple, up and down arpeggios that start off the first track, "Epitaph of Theodor". They immediately recalled for me the organ arpeggios that launch Philip Glass's soundtrack to the film "Koyaanisqatsi". There were several other instances in which arpeggios and other repetitive patterns worked as in a minimalist composition.

But soon that all fell away as the other instruments started coming in -- particularly the guitars, which run the gamut from a reverb-soaked, surf-like sound, to soaring high-pitched solos and grungy low chords. The atmospherics recalled for me many of my favorite things, including the best of Ennio Morricone's spaghetti Western soundtracks and the classic art rock of early Pink Floyd, circa the "Meddle" era. The abstract atmospherics of "No Body" put me in a Gyorgy Ligeti or Karlheinz Stockhausen frame of mind.

Then of course, there are von Hausswolff's vocals. Many have compared her vocal timbre to Kate Bush, and not without reason. She does bring kind of an edge to things, though. Her dramatic vocal entrance halfway through "Deathbed", the second track of the album, is quite remarkable, using her upper registers to tremendous plaintive effect. That effect is not repeated too often in the remainder of the album, and where her vocals are a bit more conventional but still striking in their own way. Her voice stands out in stark relief against the sheer power of the pipe organ, thrust out like a small island on an ocean of sound.
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By R. Hansen on July 7, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Not quite as dark as the first album. Interesting layers. Quite enjoyable.
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By Mr C on January 31, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm not sure how I heard of Anna Von Hausswolf (was it Linn records?) but I was very taken by the song 'Funeral for my future children', such that I ordered the album.

I thought that she might only have one song in her but this is not the case. There is something indefinable about her music that draws one into a kind of contemplative trance (well, at leasts , this one). In short, I love it, although I don't quite know why.
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After hearing her featured on NPR, I immediately ordered the CD and was not disappointed. I like unusual music, so if you're looking for mainstream pop, this is NOT the album for you! I can understand critics who point out that the musicianship and the song writing are both pretty simplistic, but the combination of the church organ and Anna's voice make these songs work. The subtle drums and guitar embellishments add an extra sonic dimension without intruding too much, and these additions enhance the mood of each piece. You'll hear hints of Kate Bush in Anna's voice, but she displays a range of styles, liberally trading between soft vocals, celtic-style chanting, and husky growling, sometimes within the same song.

I'm still enjoying it after probably a dozen listens over the past month or so. Again, "Ceremony" is not for everyone... Anna Von Hausswolff is an acquired taste, but worth a try if you need a breath of fresh air after choking on the dull nonsense that passes for contemporary music these days!
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