Marcus Fjellström's second album Gebrauchsmusik, initially released a decade and a half ago, is a bizarre sound document that deserves a closer look. Listening back to it now only re-confirms the unique mind of the Swedish composer, who sadly died in September 2017, only 37 years old.
"Gebrauchsmusik" is German for 'Utility Music', and his second excursion into post-classical experimentation is exactly that; thirteen tracks with each one written to suit a certain theme. War, art, festivity, sadness, death and resurrection are all interpreted by Fjellström in his unique style, taking a classical framework and distorting, confusing and manipulating them into far fetching scenarios that is only limited by ones own imagination.
Marcus worked with the Swedish Royal Ballet, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Sinfonietta Cracovia as well as numerous other orchestras, ensembles and soloists, artists and filmmakers. He spent the last half year of his life scoring the AMC series The Terror. In his works, Marcus often aimed to combine opposites so that they don’t contradict each other, but rather fuse into a natural, third element - “High” and “low” culture, the naïve and the sophisticated, good and bad taste. These are all elements that comfortably blend together in his works. Musical influences range from electronic acts such as Aphex Twin and Autechre to 20th century composers such as György Ligeti and John Cage. Further influences include impressionist composers Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy as well as film music composers Bernard Herrmann, Angelo Badalamenti and Zdeněk Liška.