Review by Annar Veröld.
An Island originated from the idea of creating a documentary film the length of an album. Efterklang’s third album, Magic Chairs, was released in February 2010, fueling Efterklang’s success and magnifying the band’s reputation for creative compositions. Efterklang and Vincent Moon joined together for a four day journey to Als, a Baltic Island from where a few of the band members were raised and met, to capture the soul of Magic Chairs and the music-driven image of the band in its entirety.
Notorious for his project published on La Blogothèque, “Take-Away Shows”, features Sigur Ros, Beirut, Arcade Fire, and hundreds of other artists, Vincent Moon’s way of integrating film and music are prevalent in his collaboration with Efterklang for the creation of An Island. Moon takes Efterklang’s abstract compositions and embeds them into life in visionary and prolific ways, all while documenting the musical and spectacular experience in his own trademarked way. In a revolutionary manner, Moon reveals the affair between sound and the image from where it is created.
The film begins with silhouettes and ocean space, capturing the start of Moon’s and Efterklang’s delicate and intimate relationship with music and vision. Among the quiet, Moon begins to give the silence a name and an image, as members from Efterklang study, with steady eyes the world around them, giving the quiet a sound so personal, so intricate, you cannot help but to be captivated.
The mood swiftly changes as the band rides in the back of a truck along a forest, singing “Raincoat”. From that moment on, the band’s undeniable passion is exposed as Moon captures the artists tapping, clapping, strumming, and singing off the top of their lungs– Moon illuminates the screen with a species of human whose way of life is composed in sound and rhythm, music.
Throughout the entire documentary, Efterklang’s intimacy with Als is showcased, both, through nature and society. In a barn, we witness the band create music with nails and balloons, and broomsticks, as their audience participates with shakers and sing along. We also witness the band directing an ensemble of school children as they stomp their feet, shyly sing, and make modest attempts as percussionists. Moon even places the band in a forest in the dark of the night as they perform an eerie track, appearing as phantoms among flashing lights.
Generally when listening to an album, the rhythms and pitches, and the way in which hundreds of possibilities fall into a meter– a track feels as though it belongs to you, it exists to nurture you as you run about, stare, or lay on your bed– in whatever way it is that you soak it all in. “An Island” features Efterklang’s latest album, Magic Chairs, yet, in the mystic ways of Vincent Moon and Efterklang’s undeniable devotion to their music, Magic Chairs becomes a connection that exists outside of two ear-buds, and your single mind– it becomes an evident way of life, a way of life for one band, one director, an entire island, and an orchestra of 200 people who helped make “An Island” what it has inevitably become.
Watch the third official teaser for An Island below: