|Terje Isungset & Arve Henriksen — World of Glass|
Terje Isungset & Arve Henriksen — World of Glass
≈ Terje Isungset is one of Europe’s most accomplished and innovative percussionists. With over two decades experience in jazz and Scandinavian music he is taking these types of music far beyond their traditional boundaries, becoming more like a cross between a sound artist and a shaman. Crafting his own instruments from Norwegian natural elements such as arctic birch, granite, slate, sheep bells and even ice, he is highly recommended to those sensible to the poetry and simplicity of sounds. ≈ “Timbres” and “colours” are central in Terje Isungsets music and compositions. In the press, his work has often been described as innovative, visual, energetic, and different from any previously known concepts. Isungset has also been commissioned to compose music for Jazz Festivals, Dance Performances, Theatre, Film, etc. (40 commissed concerts) His composition efforts have also brought nine critically acclaimed solo CD`s.
≈ In the book Percussion Profiles Isungset was given a thorough presentation. ≈ “Interviews–articles and discographies of 25 of the worlds most creative percussionists”. He has been given the Norwegian awards Jazz musician of the year and composer of the year. © Arve Henriksen, 2012/02/03, Author: Bjørn Furuseth
TI born: May 4, 1964 Hol, Norway
AH born: March 22, 1968 in Stranda, Norway
Album release: 24th of October, 2014 at the Umeå Jazz Festival in Sweden
Record Label: All Ice Records
01 Cave 3:47
02 Looking Through 3:27
03 Transparent Shadow 3:26
04 Crystal Clear 3:15
05 Surface 0:46
06 Optical Density 4:34
07 Silica 2:29
08 Obsidan 3:24
09 Float 1:06
10 Crunchy Crystal 3:04
11 Melting Glass Process 3:02
12 Blow 2:37
13 Murano Stories 5:26
14 Prism 2:23
15 Clearness at Departure 3:39
≈ The album World of Glass brings dazzling melodies by Norwegian improvisers Terje Isungset and Arve Henriksen who used a plentiful set of fragile extraordinary fantasy instruments made of glass. These unique sounds create the space where magic of music and glass art gets united in a dream that takes listeners to the colourful journey and draws imaginary landscapes.
≈ World of Glass is an international art project fusing glass and music. It was created by Isungset and Henriksen and the Foundation Tallinn 2011 as a part of the European Capital of Culture programme in Tallinn, Estonia.
≈ The album presents recordings mostly from sold out concerts in Von Krahl Theatre in Tallinn where more than thirty magnificent glass objects emitted bright, intense blue light and exquisite sound, all against a jet black stage backdrop. The audience was mesmerised by the masterful improvisations of Isungset and Henriksen as well as the instruments themselves.
MARLBANK, SCORE: ****
By Jon–Trygve on 25.11.14 13:36, Score: 2 HUZZAH!*
≈ The album "World of Glass" was released on the 24th of October at the Umeå Jazz Festival in Sweden. By then the journey leading up to the album started five years earlier.
≈ The story started in 2009 when Terje Isungset and Arve Henriksen were approached by Madli–Liis Parts from "Foundation Tallinn 2011", the organization responsible for all arrangements associated with Tallinn being the European Culture Capital of 2011. The idea was to do a series of concerts using only instruments made entirely of glass.
≈ By that time Isungset was already well–known as a unique percussionist who could make remarkable sounds from almost anything. He has himself done several projects where he has made his own instruments from scratch, culminating in his Ice Music project with instruments made solely from ice. Isungset must therefore have looked like the ideal artist for the project that Foundation Tallinn 2011 had in mind.
≈ Arve Henriksen, a man not afraid of pushing the limits of what music can be, and who has worked with Isungset several times before (documented on albums like "Ice Concerts" (All Ice Records, 2008) and "Ellivan" (NorCD, 2009)), was a natural choice to become Isungset's partner in crime on this occasion.
≈ Over the next two years Estonian glass artists, well–established craftsmen and women as well as young students of this profession, would work intensely on creating new and innovative glass instruments that could invoke interesting sounds for Isunget and Henriksen to work with.
≈ Isungset and Henriksen would visit Tallinn repeatedly to give the artists feedback on how to proceed. In the end, Henriksen and Isungset had a total of about 30 glass instruments to play for the sold–out concert series in Tallinn in December 2011, where the album "World of Glass" (All Ice Records, 2014) was also recorded.
≈ The concerts were a huge success. However, there is no guarantee that a project like this makes for an interesting album.
≈ For some special projects of this kind one might end up with a concept that is interesting to listen to once, and the audience might be able to appreciate the work and sweat involved in making the project happen. But the music might not really have something that makes it interesting to listen to by itself several times, which would be a nice touch if you want to release the music as an album.
≈ So how does "World of Glass" translate from a stage performance to an album?
≈ Being a listener that hasn't seen the live performances, I'm happy to report that "World of Glass" is a very interesting album in and of itself. And even though it is the origins of the instruments and the technical challenges involved in making the concept a reality that sets this project apart from other projects by Henriksen/Isungset, and indeed most other musical projects in general, it is not strictly necessary to know this to enjoy the music on the album.
≈ Isungset in particular presents himself as someone "between a sound artist and shaman" on his website. And if Ruben was taken into spaaaace by Eple Trio's "Universal Cycle", "World of Glass" takes me far back in time and out in the woods between steep mountains in the middle of the night. As with most projects involving Isungset, the sense of nature is strongly present in this music. And rather than using sci–fi as a reference, I'm pretty sure that fans of fantasy literature or people fascinated by history of the Nordic region back in the viking era, could find this album an appropriate soundtrack while reading.
≈ The soundscapes themselves provide some sort of narrative where we as listeners can "fill in the blanks" and create imagery in our heads to go with the music. The album makes me want to make sure the house is quiet and turn off the lights before I put it on and sit back, close my eyes and just take in the majestic sound.
For majestic it is!
≈ Here are gong–like sounds at the bottom, different kind of horns, sounding like anything from goat horns to saxophone to whistles, as well as sounds you have never heard before. There is word–less whispering into your ear as well as faint cries from a distance. At times, I'm out in a forest in the dark, other times I'm in a large cave...
The music is highly evocative and serves as fuel for the imagination. As such, the album lends itself perfectly as a soundtrack to long and dark winter nights.
≈ Isungset is definitely one of the most fascinating percussionists in the world, and the way he's able to bring all kinds of things to life as instruments through clever use of microphones, is downright extraordinary. He creates a three–dimensional room of sound all by himself, freeing up Henriksen to create colourful phrasings on top, using not only the glass instruments but his voice as well. We must not forget to mention sound guru Asle Karstad when talking about this album. This master engineer, who has created fantastic sound at live performances for countless artists over the years, must be duly credited for the magnificent sound on the album.
≈ "World of Glass" is a beautiful album that documents a unique project, bringing together different art forms into a completely new concept. The album has really made me want to experience this live. I have no idea whether this concept can or will be sent out on the road, but if I get the chance I will definitely go to see it.
And so should you ...
* The DPM Rating System
≈ When we rate an album or concert, etc, we rate it on the "Huzzah!" system. A score can be between 1 and 3 huzzahs:
1 Huzzah! — The reviewer likes it. You should give it a listen!
2 Huzzah! — The reviewer recommends it, and is delighted it is part of his/her collection
3 Huzzah! — The reviewer strongly recommends it, and it has already entered heavy rotation on his/her personal playlists.
≈ We don't do negative reviews, because we review what we like. :: http://www.davesplacemusic.com/
≈ Here are selection of photographs and a press release for use in press & media coverage. The photographs are free of charge to use for non–commercial use and only when accompanied with a photo credit to the photographer Kaupo Kikkas Please credit '© Kaupo Kikkas / World of Glass' thank you, Madli–Liis Parts.
≈ Dagbladet skriver: ” Terje Isungset er blitt selve personifiseringen av det utvidede perkusjonsbegrep” og videre at ”han er totalt kompromissløs i sitt musikalske uttrykk og har et ikke–eksisterende forhold til trender” Jazznytt skriver: ”Etter å ha hørt Isungsets mildt sagt utradisjonelle improvisasjonsmusikk, sitter jeg med følelsen av å ha vært med på noe oppriktig originalt og dristig nyskapende”. Terje Isungset har vært en sentral musiker i Norsk musikk de siste 30 åra. Han har medvirka på over 60 CD plater, og gitt ut 9 solo plater. Isungset blir regna som en pioner i forhold til å jobbe med ulike lydkilder.
≈ Hans instrument er satt sammen av tre, stein, metall, trommer, cymbaler, bukkehorn og munnharpe. Siden 1999 har også instrumenter av is inngått i Isungsets lydverden. Han starta arbeidet med fri improvisasjon — ofte i samspill med ulike lands folkemusikk i 1985. Dette har resultert et musikalsk uttrykk uten tydelige referansepunkt til eksisterende stilarter. «Isungset tar oss med til en slags “før musikalsk” tid, da jordskorpa fortsatt var varm og både folk og folkemusikk var fjerne, framtidige påfunn»(Dagbladet). «Isungset er en døråpner til en utemmet villskap — fascinerende, suggererende og rocka». (Bergensavisen)
≈ Som komponist har Isungset skrevet over 40 bestillingsverk. Med besetninger varierende fra symfoniorkester i samspill med 1000 barn og kirkeklokker til verk basert på lydene fra verdens største oljeplattform i samspill med stein og tre. «Ingen, absolutt ingen i hele verden spiller perkusjon som Terje Isungset» — mener Bergens Tidende. I»sungset har skapt seg en kunstnerisk identitet knapt noen andre er i nærheten av i vår del av verden».(Dagbladet). Terje Isungset er i boka Percussion Profiles (2002) rangert som en av verdens mest kreative perkusjonister. “Interviews-articles and discographies of 25 of the worlds most creative percussionists”. Isungset ble I 2008 tildelt Edvard prisen av TONO for beste komposisjon I åpen klasse.
1997: Reise (NorCD)
2000: Floating Rhythms (Via Music)
2002: Iceman Is (Jazzland/Virgin), with Arve Henriksen
2003: Middle of Mist (NorCD)
2006: Igloo (All Ice Records), nominated for Spellemannprisen in the class Jazz, with Sidsel Endresen
2007: Two Moons (All Ice Records), with Per Jørgensen
2008: Ice Concerts (All Ice Records)
2009: Hibernation (All Ice Records)
2010: Winter Songs (All Ice Records/Virgin)
2010: Icemusic (All Ice Records), compilation
2012: Meditations (All Ice Records)
2014: World Of Glass (All Ice Records), with Arve Henriksen © Nymark, Terje Isungset, Asle Karstad, Tor Dietlefsen & Bernard Svidal, 2013/01/25 22.28.47
|Terje Isungset & Arve Henriksen — World of Glass|