First Listen: Valgeir Sigurðsson, 'Dissonance'

Hear music both bleak and magisterial by an Icelandic composer and engineer who wields darkness into a singularly mesmerizing art.
Valgeir Sigurðsson's new album, Dissonance, comes out April 28. Source: Lilja Birgisdóttir

Dissonance has been around as long as music itself, no doubt. Even the Bible talks of music with "loud crashing cymbals." And if you thought the classical era offered only tidy melodies, try the opening of Haydn's oratorio The Creation, where the world is birthed in a mighty discordant wail, or Mozart's String Quartet No. 19, nicknamed

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