Hild Sofie Tafjord: Breathing (2014)
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Norwegian French horn player Hild Sofie Taford has re-written the instrument's sonic possibilities, in many previous free improvised formats that were fearless. She plays in the electro-acoustic free improv quartet Spunk, the duo Fe-Mail (with Maja S.K. Ratkje of SPUNK) and the meeting of Fe-Mail with the prog- metallists of Enslaved in Trinacaria and collaborated with forward- thinking improvisers as Fred Frith, Otomo Yoshihide and Ikue Mori. Her debut solo album Kama (Pica Disk, 2007) was an arresting, multi-layered reconstruction of the French Horn processed, sampled and manipulated with extensive electronics.
Tafjord's long awaited second effort, Breathing, returns to the basic, acoustic ingredients of music making. Tafjord investigates the acoustic characteristics of the French horn, and different aspects of relationships between the performer, the instrument and the space the large exhibition rooms at Bergen Kuntshall and Sofienberg church in Oslo. She and producer Bjørnar Habbestad used different techniques, including distant microphones, to capture a spectrum of sounds.
On the five pieces,Tafjord experiments with assorted techniques to produce the inner and most basic sounds of her instrument, still, she succeeds to create an intimate, fragile atmosphere at the same time. Like other innovative sonic sculptors- -British John Butcher for exampleshe refuses to employ the French horn only as a brass instrument, treating it instead as an inventive sound generator. These sounds are comprised of delicate breaths, drones produced by fast breaths and extended breathing techniques on "Warmhole" and "Tokkotoko"; warm resonating sounds that move back and forth around the great acoustic halls on "Passage" and "Shoal" and spacey-noisy walls of sound on the title-piece.
A highly original, arresting document.
Track Listing: Wormhole; Passage; Tokkotoko; Shoal; Breathing.
Personnel: Hild Sofie Tafjord: horn.
Record Label: 3db