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Oskar Hallbert - 1123581321345589

Oskar Hallbert is a musician who lives in a house in the woods in the north Sweden.
The EP "Sids apartment" on Rainmusic has been one of Zymogen's favourite album of 2008 and we luckily got in touch with him to plan the re-release of "1123581321345589". Previously released in 50 copies on a small american CD-r label.

"1123581321345589" is a concept album on the Fibonacci numbers. Oskar writes:

"I'm interested in numbers, and I'm interested in failuers. Fibonacci tried to make a number sequence that would show how a population of rabbits grew.
Turns out his number sequence is worhless if you try to show how a rabbit population grows - BUT he unwillingly discovered something far more interesting. Turns out that the Fibonacci numbers appear everywhere in nature, in the proportion of our bodies, in the way that sunflowers organize there seeds, in the way branches grow on a tree and the way leafs grow on the branches, in the way eagles fly towards their preys - everywhere. The Fibonacci numbers are the closest we've got to mathematicly understand the laws by wich our world is created.

It's a quite personal album. I like my music to be somewhat documentary.
Almost all songs are based on an improvisation, and then digital editing and overdubbing, arranging and more overdubbing and more editing.

Most of the snippets origin from my mp3-player, with wich I've recorded stuff that happend and places I've visit. They make a mosaique, that sums up my life during the time I made the songs.
And there is a few sampels, a little from the tv show "This is our music", one from the movie "Harrold and Maude" ,..., and of course Sture Dahlstrom, one my favorite authors (who played jazz before he started writing). He goes: "I haven't tuch my guitar for 40 years now, guess I wanna know if there's still some music in me."

I was really into Fibonaccis numbers at the time, it's a beautiful sequence. And I just liked the idea of a record with 89 tracks. And I needed something to arrange my music around. The number sequence did it."

Now listen.




Track List:

  • 01. 01 intro
  • 02. 02 prime number
  • 03. 03 from the Stockholm tape 2
  • 05. 05 look its Kama aina in my garden
  • 08. 08 from the Stockholm tape 1
  • 13. 13 fractal
  • 21. 21 unsent letter
  • 34. 34 not ok.
  • 55. 55 Harrold & Maud
  • 89. 89 entertainment


Download ZIP file from zymogen.


© Oskar Hallbert
© Zymogen

Cover Artwork:
© Fulvio Romiti
© Zymogen

This work (audio tracks, cover, text) is licensed under a creative commons license.


Reviews for this release

Earlier creative work of Oskar Hallbert was unfamiliar to me, though his recent release on the Italian net-label Zymogen (for many times its releases were interesting discoveries) got me acquainted with his music. In this album the musician used Fibonacci numbers – each following number equals the sum of the two previous. The musician noticed that such sequence can be met everywhere in our life: in proportions of our body, in organization of sunflower seeds, in the order of trees' branches and leaves on them. As a matter of fact, Fibonacci numbers is the sequence going far from the frames of bare numbers integrated into our life. I'm not good neither at Maths, nor at Biology, though it reminds of a complicated nature's rule. Obviously, that was the thing that inspired Hallbert for creating 89 tracks, most of which are 4-seconds samples, short and transient... Long-lasting, important tracks take the places accordingly to the sequence: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 and 89.

If we forget for some seconds about the basic of the conception (which apparently influenced only the title of the album and "cutting" the sound material into tracks), we can say that creativity of Oskar Hallbert is a good demonstration of the fact that for creating pleasant and interesting music using field records expensive sound recording equipment is not obligatory. For recording the surrounding sounds he uses only his mp3 player. The final material is processed, the sounds are dubbed and further for several times... Field records are the background for wind instruments, strings and keyboards. Very modestly, even intimate and with some soft, semitransparent melancholy they lead us through the slow compositions. I must say, it's nothing new or supernatural, though warm and pleasant like house slippers. Yes, don't know concerning Fibonacci numbers, though it seems to me that music in 1123581321345589 is more similar to house slippers.
Sound Proector / 20 Sep 2009

El netlabel italiano Zymogen, que es uno de los mas consolidados y exclusivos en cuanto a música experimental electronica se refiere, publica su referencia numero 23. Oskar Hallbert es un músico residente al norte de Suecia, Zymogen se puso en contacto con él para publicar de nuevo el álbum "1123581321345589" que previamente había sido lanzado en una edición limitada de 50 copias.

Se trata de un álbum conceptual sobre los números Fibonacci, una secuencia infinita de números naturales donde cada uno es la suma de los dos anteriores. Desde su formulación en el siglo XIII por el italiano Leonardo de Pisa, esta serie ha fascinado a multitud de pensadores y artistas de todo el mundo por su asombroso isomorfismo con los patrones mas profundos e intimos que rigen en la naturaleza; por ejemplo en el crecimiento y desarrollo de organismos y plantas. Íntimamente relacionada con la proporción áurea, la secuencia ha servido de inspiración para numerosos artistas que han utilizado la serie para proporciones de sus creaciones artísticas. Por si eso fuera poco, actualmente tiene aplicaciones en teoría de la computación y matematica avanzada. Pues bien, a Oskar Hallbert también le sirve de inspiración para este álbum, ¿de que manera? pues bien, se trata de un album compuesto por 89 cortes, de estos los unicos con titulo son aquellos que coinciden con los numeros Fibonacci, el resto, intitulados y de muy corta duracion (sobre 4 segundos), se van sucediendo con pequeñas variaciones entre aquellos. Todos los temas se basan en improvisaciones editadas, procesadas digitalmente y re-editadas, con samples de Sture Dahlstrom (autor de jazz) o de fragmentos televisivos, grabaciones naturales de distintas localizaciones que el artista visitó durante la producción del album, una colección de recuerdos que Oskar deja que organize la serie Fibonacci, lo cual le da a la obra una dimensión documental, muy personal por el carácter melancólico y nostálgico que la impregna.
Netlabels & News / 24 Aug 2009

Zymogen netlabel is back with a new release from Swedish musician Oskar Hallbert. For his second album 1123581321345589 Hallbert takes inspiration from Fibonacci numbers. I don’t know if the material has any other relevance to Fibonacci, but the release is composed of 89 pieces with only the fibonacci numbers being complete songs and the rest 4 second sound snippets. A beautiful melancholic folktronica / ambient album with lots of hiss and piano.
Undomondo / 23 Aug 2009

Lo-fi Folk Scribbles | Zymogen has been a little quiet for the last six months. After the Summer down, however, the label is back with a beautiful record. The artist's name is Oskar Hallbert and he brings forth a new shade to the monochrome Zymogen label sound. Lo-fi Folk scribbles, you kidding? No.

Oskar Hallbert is a Swedish composer who does not only incorporate instruments like piano, guitar and woodwinds in his music but intensively focuses on blurry field recordings and the warm hiss you got from cheap microphones. Beauty, in case of Hallbert, seems to happen as in passing. Like not intended. In a sudden, harmonies cross and form melodies, then move apart again. A moiré effect.

This is wonderfully fragile- and the more you don't expect a song to touch you the more you're moved if it does, eventually. For me, Oskar Hallbert is a kindred spirit to Vienna wunderkind David Schweighart whose album is online for free with 12rec. Netlabel and worth every second as well.

Hallbert's EP "Sids Apartment" was out on Rainmusic in 2008. You easily will agree that the French label is the perfect place for music like his. "1123581321345589" was released on an US CDR label before, now luckily Zymogen re-publishes the 10 + 79 tracks (!) for free. Take your time and enjoy this tender trip into bliss and beauty!
Phlow Magazine / 22 Aug 2009

I found this video via the Engendered From Divine Breath blog, which is run by a fine, passionate Estonian chap. Multi-instrumentalist Oskar Hallbert’s ‘1123581321345589‘ was recently issued by Italian imprint Zymogen and it’s a joy to behold. While the netlabel world is indeed and wonderful place, there’s also a number of pitfalls. One of which being the amount of labels that constantly release boring beat-orientated electronica or wallpaper ambient. I prefer labels that try to do something different, it’s what we base our ethos at Phantom Channel on.

Hallbert’s, yet another Swedish recording artist, album avoids the common netlabel sound, as this video below will atest. This piece comes across like lo-fi Sigur Ros at their most sedate,and without the Hopelandish vocals and recent Coldplayisms of their recordings. A beautiful composition featruing organic orchestral instrumentation and processed found sounds.
Phantomchannel / 20 Aug 2009

Zymogen, the Italian-based netlabel, is very well known by its exclusiveness and high qualitative approach in describing electronic music. By offering electronic sound to people who prefer listening to the music with the headphones rather than to cover in rude beats someone`s dance floor.

1123581321345589 is the sophomore album under Zymogen in this year (the previous one was Nicola Ratti`s èsope). Oskar Hallbert (OH) is a musician who lives in the woods in the north Sweden. His previous work Sids Apartment EP released under rain music sounded like the music played in finger-pick guitar style in the middle of the street or in a far corner of a crowded public house. This is a conceptual album on the Fibonacci numbers. He was inspired by the perspective that with the Fibonacci numbers it is possible to describe the nature, the proportion of human body and so on. In a word, the life is full of the combinations of numbers.

How could the sound be showcased in practise in reference to this theory? OH has described his initial approach as the improvisation on its own. His album consists mainly of short 4-seconds snippets, and 89 tracks. Yet, this colossal schema is housed into 35 minutes. These very short tracks establish a thin ground where we can perceive minimal changes in the soundscape. The new album goes on a trip there where the previous one was finished. In fact, this folktronic sound will have been further developed from a placid frame of mind to overwhelming sadness. In the track 34 (not. ok) the listener will be engulfed by very funest sound sequences. Dolefulness of it will slowly spill over into your thoughts and change into depressive state of your mind. As we know as well good music can been accoutered with affinity to hurt the listeners sometimes. The longer tracks predicate mainly on mini-orchestrated and chamber music tunes. A smorgabord of modern (electronic) music is represented here - some experiments with hiss and noise, electroacoustic aspects, collage music/plunderphonics, field recordings/musique concrete, digital sound processing and spoken word. This conception and approach have beyond doubt some similarities with the works of Curd Duca nearly 10 years ago. Nevertheless, it is very intimately sounding work indeed.
Engendered from Divine Breath / 14 Aug 2009