The electronic ambient project "Carinthia", named after the southern province Jorgensen fondly calls home, encompasses the expression of unadulterated beauty found in nature and the peaceful undercurrent of a steady and often unrealized hope accomplished through the medium of piano and guitar-driven melodies, frequently accompanied by raw field recordings. His fascination for rhythmic and aural textures led him to experiment in a wide range of musical stylings, eventually landing him at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he majored in music and percussion. As sole composer and engineer, Jorgensen has his hand over the entire creative process. Incorporating commonplace samplings to create rhythms and textures, Carinthia realizes an organic feel through every piece.
It's telling that Daniel Jorgensen's Carinthia album, All My Fountains Are In You, was mastered by none other than Keith Kenniff (aka Goldmund and Helios), as Jorgensen's material exudes a lush and entrancing character that's quite a bit like Helios's. Imagine, if you will, Helios and Slow Dancing Society crossed with the instrumental uplift of Sigur Rós and you'll have some idea of the beautiful material presented on Jorgensen's full-length debut.
The album's nine harmonious settings unfold leisurely, with pianos, guitars (acoustic and electric), wordless choirs, organ, glockenspiel, and shimmering ambient washes ably supported by delicate beat structures and augmented with subtle electronic treatments and an occasional outdoors field recording (the rain-soaked “The Gentle Deep,” for example). The plaintive piano melodies coursing through “Dove On Distant Oaks” feel like they're shrouded in mist and resounding next to a country stream. Few shadows darken Carinthia's door as the album delivers one dreamy chord progression after another, with piano the stately melodic voice typically leading the way.
How appropriate it is that Jorgensen named his project Carinthia, not because it's titled after a southern province in Austria but because it's a place where where he spent his childhood. As such, the recording often exudes a wistful and nostalgic warmth that bespeaks cherished memories of days long past. Electronic ambient music of the quietly rapturous kind, All My Fountains Are In You is soul-stirring music of the stream and valley, the sky and forest.
Jorgensen’s second full-length album captures the same simplistic tones as his first with an added richness and confidence in every fill. "Leaving the Night Behind Us", released April 2, 2013, was mastered by Taylor Deupree, founder of 12k Records, artist and producer for various ambient artists, including Hammock. Each track unfolds with layer upon layer of synthesizer matched with intricately designed textures, delicate keys, arresting guitar riffs, and light field recordings, staying true to the organic feel created throughout his first release. “Leaving the Night Behind Us” attempts to row in the deep of the reality of blackest nights and derision in disappointed hopes, exploring the grief strung by rejection and loss through a melancholic mood, and to prove that beauty sets on broken hearts surely as the Eastern horizon glows faint again in morning hours.
As the album opens with “Leaving,” slow-building synthesizer and a nearly-hesitating piano melody hauntingly portray the unsettled admittance of being left. Brilliant story-telling and musical composition aid in unraveling this process of struggle over the following nine tracks. In the end, Jorgensen’s album begins to sustain the hope of a swift sunrise.
Daniel Jorgensen's third full-length album as Carinthia continues in the electronic realm for which he became known in his previous releases. With meticulous crafting and shaping of electronic and acoustic instruments, Fields quickly becomes personal, calming, though inspiring as each of the 12 tracks thoughtfully unfold. With delicately constructed layers of bright strings, warm pianos, soothing guitars, and empowering yet organic drums blended with intriguing synthesized textures, Daniel has pulled from moments in his own various fields to create a calming and circumspect aural journey to embark on.
People wander many different fields in life - this album speaks to that. It becomes your own story as each note sounds like a step you have taken to get to the other side of your field.
Daniel Jorgensen's enjoyment of simple and minimalistic piano music progressed over the years into the 2011 creation of his own solo piano project, named after himself. Taking a step away from the ambient and organic rhythmic elements of his previous releases, he chose to utilize the piano, two microphones, and the occasional ambient texture as his tools in recording music often exuding a wistful and nostalgic warmth that bespeaks cherished memories of days long past.
Daniel Jorgensen's special ability to infuse his piano solos with considerable poignancy and emotional weight is evident in his first piano release, laden with aural warmth and subtle tenderness. At first listen, you may wonder how something so thread-bare and austere could have clawed its way into your emotions quite so. Though with more intentional encounters with this collection of 14 songs, one realizes how absorbed one becomes in the album and how captivating one man and a piano can be. Introspective and sincere,this album is guided by moods and colors more than concrete musical ideas, notably melancholia and wistfulness.
"A Search for Somewhere Else" is a body of music so intimate and hushed you can practically hear the microphones breathing. Besides the occasional gentle contribution of ambient texture, the only accompaniment to the lonely piano is the warm hiss and static of the recording device used. Underneath the softly and delicately played keys, one can actually hear floor boards creaking and errant noises rustling in the gaps between his delicately poised chords, almost like Daniel is sitting in the room, telling melodic stories of his past, reaching back to his childhood in Austria, with careful and thoughtful poise. The beauty doesn't come from needless reverb or a chain of effects but simply from the composition and the sound of the instrument itself. His meticulous structuring and layering gives the feeling you are standing next to the grand piano which drives the album, and at times somehow sitting next to the corda and dampen pedals, though this is never a detraction nor a distraction.
In terms of composition, the songs are pretty enough – flowing between chords as a helpless monologue of unrequitement, occasionally fluttering in arpeggiated sequences, but often hovering over the mournful decay of each chord, allowing each piece to breathe. Touching and affecting, the themes of this album are clear: friendship, love, forgiveness, loss, hope, and, as the title suggest, a search for a place beyond one's current surroundings or situation. Melodies heard and felt. This album remains a calming and transporting journey worth revisiting on those quiet, rainy days best spent inside.