Shida Shahabi

Low Land

Release Notes

Label: 130701
Release: Alvaret
Date: November 26, 2021
Mastered By: Francesco Donadello

Last year, this Stockholm-based composer and pianist released a soundtrack for a film, Lake On Fire. For this 2021 release on FatCat’s 130701 imprint, Shida Shahabi shares with us five delicate, minimal, and truly atmospheric pieces for a score she composed for the Swedish director Maria Eriksson-Hecht‘s short film, titled Alvaret. There is no piano on here at all. Instead, a pensive cello, played by Linnea Olsson, tells a story drenched in sadness, melancholy, and despair, cradled by the layers of synth pads and electric bass. You can hear the tragic tale in the music, even without words about the plot. “Perfectly in step with the director’s vision, Shida’s score avoids tugging at heartstrings via the obvious tropes of sentimentality, instead pulling back to a cooler, more measured and complex emotional distance, and an intimation of the barren, low-lying island landscape in which the film is set.” For this exclusive track premiere, I’d like to share a piece called “Low Land” which captures the tone and the mood of the film.

”Low Land” is a theme written for Alice and her dad, and the bond they have in the midst of their everyday life, where they struggle with grief and trauma while adapting to/dealing with their social environment. It is about the feeling of making sense to someone when everything else doesn’t make sense and people don’t or can’t understand what you are going through. The score was written for cello and bass because I wanted to have access to a register, texture and intonation that could capture the landscape of southern Öland, Alvaret, but also the thoughts and struggles within Alice and her dad. There are so many different nuances you can do with one tone on those instruments, both when it comes to texture and intonation, which makes the instruments similar to a voice.

—- Shida Shahabi

The digital EP is out on November 26, 2021. Meanwhile, you can pre-order the soundtrack here.