Origami Arktika

will Norse folk Sweden your life, or hit Norway near the (Den)mark?

Hello readers, Pious Pete here. When I'm not devoting my life to the Church or painstakingly completing the Lindisfarne Gospels, there's nothing I enjoy more than listening to hot new jams on my iGod. Alas, I've hit a bit of a sticky patch of late. The simple joys of fermenting beer, upholding my vows and instantaneously absorbing fresh music by the sheer power of Christ are enlightening, it's true—but none of the local bands are rocking my robes at the moment. Saint Cuthbert and the Yellow-browed Warblers sold out to the man when they played Durham Cathedral; and don't even get me started on those bloody goths in Pilgrim's Way. What we need is a new wave. Something from across the sea. Some kind of ... invasion?

Excuse me a second, there's a lot of shouting outside my door. Sounds like it could be expositional.

Sørry, the bell didn't wørk. Right, this is an øfficially sanctiøned Viking raid. Hand øver everything valuable, there's a gøød lad.

Oh no, I didn't mean this kind of invasion! What a calamitous and strangely coincidental sequence of events ... Wait, is that supposed to be a Nordic accent?

Shut up, it wørked fine før Asterix. Wøw, yøu've gøt an iGød. That'll be a terrific upgrade frøm my øld Søny Thørkman.

Jesus. What aural horrors must that gigantic contraption contain? Tales of salt-ravaged sea crossings? Powerful ballads, swathed in the blood of hapless enemies? Songs of wine and banqueting in the majestic halls of your heathen gods?

Mm, yes, all øf thøse things. Plus stirring legends øf lust, deceit and hønøur. Here, have a listen tø søme Origami Arktika before I beat yøu tø death.

*Listening* ... hmm, this isn't exactly ...

What? Cøme øn, øut with it.

It's just not the conflagration of thunder and rage I was expecting. In fact, it's rather tranquil—shadows lengthening as the sun dips below the horizon, that sort of thing. There's a sense of community gathering, of huddled families gazing at the fire as the mundane activities of evening provide sporadic backdrops. I can see a man keeping rhythm, but the rest ... the rest is more subtle; indistinct shape and timbre, clanking barely in ear-shot. Perhaps the innocent collisions of pots and pans, perhaps a stray hobgoblin shuffling around the camp. There are fleeting feelings of indistinct danger, yes, but also of safety in numbers. Protection in song. Incantations, rolling through the night in a trance-like chant. Reverberations in the forest. A soothing drone of repetition, meandering sedately through an hour of folklore.

Silence! It's spine-chilling, bile-curdling mythøløgy from a blighted Scandinavian isle øf ice and snøw.

It's really not. Actually, it's rather gentle. Perhaps Rune Flaten is evoking vengeful spirits and deadly sea creatures in his native Norwegian, but the intimate tone he's using suggests matters far more personal—even spiritual. Mysticism blossoms from the quiet intensity, but for all I know he could be focusing extremely hard on singing about delightful kittens and knotting daisy chains in beards. Maybe that's it. You're all secret hippies, aren't you? Great big flower-loving hippies. Why don't you just settle down as farmers and integrate with the locals while you go all potty about trees?

Arrgghh, støp messing with my mind, nøbødy talks like that in real life!

That's because this entire scenario was just a conceit, silly.


... and, as this series of small walls shows, the Vikings did indeed settle down as farmers. They weren't hippies though, that was just a little bit of Time Team exaggeration.

What's really fascinating is this other collection of miniature, wall-like structures which we've used to piece together more of Pious Pete's thoughts about Trollebotn. We believe these low-level constructions, along with the shallow foundations of what may have been more walls, show that this monk felt the record wove a believable spell. Marks found on the stonework suggest he also found the illusionary sweep of a moorland wilderness capably recreated, alongside feelings of tribal union in rudimentary prayer.

Over here we can see fragments of pottery, strongly indicating that he thought over-repetition and a lack of changes in pace were in danger of shattering the private world. But he was probably mindful that what, on the surface, appears to be near-absolute minimalism, can reveal greater depth through exploration—uncovering myriad beats and soft vibrations.

We've applied the latest computer imaging techniques and the combined knowledge of several archaeological experts to compile an image which should demonstrate how the Lindisfarne monks regarded this album. As you can see, it's the phrase "strange and inviting, but at times a victim of its own impenetrable introspection," spelled out by a set of walls which can only be described as ... err ... less-than-large and in some kind of uniform pattern.

Cease this nønsense. I, Mighty Odin, find this review tø be disturbingly self-indulgent—and I'm a guy whø spends møst øf his time chatting with hyper-intelligent ravens.

Fair enough. Goodbye everyone!

Reviewed by: Peter Parrish
Reviewed on: 2007-10-29
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