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Magic Place

Julianna BarwickVinyl
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)


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MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 2011 $8.91  
Audio CD, 2011 $14.54  
Vinyl, 2011 --  
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Music

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Photos

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Biography

Henry James once wrote: "It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance... and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process."

Julianna Barwick's art is equal parts force and beauty. Her music finds its motor in significant events in her own life, but they are abstracted into a sense of sonic wonderment, a radiance that you could say ... Read more in Amazon's Julianna Barwick Store

Visit Amazon's Julianna Barwick Store
for 4 albums, 3 photos, and 1 full streaming song.

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (February 22, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Asthmatic Kitty
  • ASIN: B004DPHVJG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,651 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Envelop
2. Keep Up the Good Work
3. The Magic Place
4. Cloak
5. White Flag
6. Vow
7. Bog In Your Gait
8. Prizewinning
9. Flown

Editorial Reviews

The Magic Place is the third record from Julianna Barwick, and the first to be released by Asthmatic Kitty.This nine piece, 43 minute album is a cinematic journey through glacial pacing and drifting drones. The occasional icy down-plink of piano, Julianna's gorgeous churchhouse sigh of a voice, a swell of a dozen voices rising in harmony this is music from the inside of the fortress of solitude, the work of a solitary creator, a message from a crystal palace of reverb and avant-choral bliss.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album October 9, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I hadn't heard of this artist until I read that this album was considered one of the best new albums by pitchfork. Regardless of your feelings towards that website, you have to give this album a chance if you enjoy the places that music can take you. Somewhat unfairly labelled as an "indie Enya", Barwick has a sound that is unique; there is no one else that sounds like her. Maybe the closest is Sigur Ros's most ethereal stuff and Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins but this music is not a carbon copy of that sound, although it does owe a huge debt to them. Barwick just simply sings vocals that are impossible to understand and loops her vocals to create a devastatingly understated sound that at times sounds like a choir of angels are singing. No guitars or drums, just her voice along with some piano. This is an album that you can listen to as background (somewhat like Brian Eno) but also really concentrate on (also like Eno). Buy this - you won't regret it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different, lovely December 29, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Julianna Barwick loops and layers her lovely voice into a lush sonic landscape. The only instrument is a piano, used sparingly.

At times I am reminded of Sigur Ros, whom I adore, because there are no words nor much of a melody that one could hum. However, the music stays inside my head after the album is over. Unlike Sigur Ros, Julianna Barwick creates harmonies using only her own voice.

I would not characterize this as background music. The sound is too compelling, it grabs your attention. It is a good accompaniment to driving, cooking or knitting, or a similar activity where you can share your concentration. I haven't heard anything else quite like this. It's not for everyone. It might make you crazy. But you might love it. Definitely worth a try.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Same-y, but a beautiful sameness July 8, 2012
By John B.
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Take a woman with a beautiful voice and a love of tape loops, very light instrumentation, and a church with big, echo-y acoustics, and the result is this gorgeous album. Its acoustics and wordless vocals are a kind of postmodern Gregorian chant: Though not religious--that is, the absence of text means there's no dogma or even theology in these pieces--one can certainly, easily, find oneself contemplating spiritual and even divine matters as one listens.

A reviewer here dismissed other people's comparing Barwick's record to Enya's music; I'd argue, though, that they're each working different sides of the same sonic territory. Another connection that may be helpful: Much of this music--the title track in particular--would be right at home during certain scenes in The Tree of Life (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy).

Docked one star solely because I wish there were just a little more variety in these pieces. I understand that they are not supposed to have a great sense of movement to them, that they're supposed to be "places" and, thus, destinations in their own right (like much of Arvo Part's instrumental music) but I do get the feeling that the "places" themselves could have been more varied. That (personal) misgiving aside, I highly recommend this beautiful record to lovers of atmosphere in their ambient music.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent otherworld experience April 11, 2012
Format:Audio CD
First thing first, this album is not pop. It is not soul, rock, or any other label that you may try to put on it. Simply put, the album sounds like nothing that you have ever heard before. Not since the early 80's version of the Cocteau Twins has there been such an inventive and different sound. Barwick uses her voice to create sound landscapes and atmosphere. She uses minimal lyrics so these are not "songs" in the pop since.
However, if you have open ears, and like to take a chance with different music, then this is a must listen. It kind of reminds me of some classical music but not as cold and distant as some of it can be. It also reminds me of ambient music, but not as disengaging. Julianna Barwick's music is warm and emotional, but on her own terms.
Sorry if this doesn't make much since. You really have to hear this album. I would recommend checking out the youtube videos first, but keep in mind that her music really sounds good in the better quality CD or even decent bit-rate download, as you can get here on Amazon.
Give this a chance, if you find yourself liking this album, as I have, you will want to go back to it over and over again. That is the mark of a truly great album in my book.
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3 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Magic Place January 1, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A mix of etheral (which was recommended on PBS) and something much less. I was disappointed by the enthusiatic review it received. Wouldn't have ordered if I had heard more first.
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