Rose Riebl: Do Not Move Stones review – Neoclassical evocation of Iceland
Do Not Move Stones
Creating music to disappear into, Australian neoclassical composer and pianist Rose Riebl takes earthy tones and compounds them into a sound of distant longing.
Partly inspired by the poetry of Sappho and David Whyte and mostly inspired by Iceland’s rugged landscape, the pianist – who studied classical music in Sydney’s Australian National Academy of Music and Austria’s Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst – uses her self-recorded debut album to recount the many emotions that guide her through life.
Over Salt Sea, the opening track that comes with a flutter of urgency, details Riebl’s arrival in Iceland, a place she believes is “as close to the cosmic wild as I thought anyone could get”. An Ending, Go Back to the Beginning is frantic as Riebl resets and recharges, pummelling the keys with the soft mania of someone who loses the night to anxieties and fantasies.
Aided by cellist Ceridwen McCooey, this acoustic album runs tight but deeply in its eight tracks. Exploring her own darkness in tracks Even as the Light Fades and I Conversed With You In a Dream, Riebl loses all sense of herself when she looks up and glances at the aurora borealis. Hearing the creaks and hammers of the piano’s keys, this is an intimate musical journey, one that begins with a sense of arrival and ends with a peaceful but long-fought-for release.