Daily Download: "Odi et Amo," J

Roman poetry, sung by a computer, set to strings.

Published September 7, 2006 7:01AM (EDT)

This track is from Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson's 2001 release "Englabörn," and what you're hearing is the Roman poet Catullus' text "Odi et Amo," sung by a computerized countertenor, accompanied by a string quartet. The idea sounds like a foolish gimmick, but the emotional effect is intensely strange and a little bit chilling. Jóhannsson wrote: "What I really like about it is the harsh contrast of the computer voice and the strings, the alchemy of total opposites, the sewing machine and umbrella on a dissecting table."

-- T.B.

By Salon Staff

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