All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Jan Bang / Erik Honore / Gaute Storaas / Arve Henriksen: Knut Hamsun's Victoria

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Given the cinematic nature of albums like ...and poppies from Kandahar (SamadhiSound, 2011), Uncommon Deities (SamadhiSound, 2012) and Cartography (ECM, 2008), it should come as no surprise to find trumpeter/vocalist Arve Henriksen and electronic sound sculptors/Punkt Festival Artistic Directors Jan Bang and Erik Honore collaborating on a film soundtrack, in this case Norwegian director, playwright and novelist Torun Lian's screen adaptation of fellow Norwegian and Nobel Prize laureate Knut Hamsun's 1898 novel, Victoria. Just released in March, 2013, the film is already garnering critical acclaim, and if the soundtrack to a film is not necessarily essential to its success, there certainly are antecedents where films actually become transformed for the better by their scores.

Having not yet seen the film, it's impossible to make that judgment, but it is possible to place Victoria—co-written by Bang, Honoré, Henriksen and Norwegian bassist/orchestrator Gaute Storaas—in that smaller group of film scores that stand as independent entities. Knut Hamsun's Victoria's 15 largely orchestral miniatures may clock in at just under forty minutes, but it's music best heard in its entirety, its own narrative unfolding with gentle dignity, grace and occasional power. Armenian-born/Los Angeles-resident pianist Tigran Hamasyan (a recent inductee into the "Punkt Family") delivers "Theme from Victoria" with spare elegance, its haunting melodism picked up by the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra, the two entities beautifully interacting with collective, temporal ebb and flow. Henriksen makes his first appearance on "Winter," his instantly recognizable trumpet tone engaging with Bang and Honoré's samples to evoke an image so strong as to render it unnecessary to experience onscreen.

Bang, Honoré and Henriksen's extant musical breadth has been further honed by nearly a decade of Punkt festivals—not just in its hometown of Kristiansand, Norway, but elsewhere in the world, including London, Mannheim, and Tallinn, where Bang first met Robert Jürjendal, the Weekend Guitar Trio guitarist/composer who also contributes to Victoria. Bang and Honoré's longstanding partnership, dating back to their teens, also means they work together with rare empathy; two very different personalities, but ones capable of completing each other's musical thoughts the way others in long-term personal relationships do the same with each other's sentences.

Collaborating with Henriksen is nothing new for the duo, but Storaas adds significantly to the picture, particularly on fully orchestral pieces like the dark "The Rescue" and more optimistic "Camilla's Theme." "Funeral," on the other hand, draws upon "Opening Image," from Henriksen's Chiaroscuro (Rune Grammofon, 2004)—one of three recordings recently collected in the limited edition, seven-LP Solidification (Rune Grammofon, 2013) box—though this version is shorter and, while based on the original composition's foundational structure, features entirely different but equally compelling vocal and trumpet performances from Henriksen.

With new projects constantly in the works, including Henriksen's overdue follow-up to Cartography and Punkt's ninth year in Kristiansand approaching in September, Bang, Honoré and Henriksen continue to raise their bars—individually, collectively and reciprocally. With Knut Hamsun's Victoria, they've moved into an area that was, perhaps, inevitable, but with the same imagination and contextual sensitivity that's characterized their other work; hopefully this is just the first of many film scores to come.

Track Listing: Theme from Victoria; Winter; The Rescue; Camilla's Theme; The Theatre; Lament; Preparation; Funeral; The Kiss; The Window; Night Encounter; The Letter; The Mill; Johannes Returns; Lament (reprise).

Personnel: Jan Bang: samples, programming; Erik Honoré: samples, synthesizer, programming; Arve Henriksen: trumpet, vocals, synthesizer; Tigran Hamasyan: piano; Robert Jürjendal: guitar; Bratislava Symphony Orchestra; Gaute Storaas: orchestrations; Lars Brenli: assistant.

Title: Knut Hamsun's Victoria | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Jazzland Recordings

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Passport Control

Passport Control

Jan Bang
...and poppies from Kandahar

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Jan Bang: Narrative From The Subtropics

Jan Bang: Narrative...

Jazzland Recordings
2013

buy
Narrative From The Subtropics

Narrative From The...

Jazzland Recordings
2013

buy
 

Victoria

Megafon
2013

buy
Knut Hamsun's Victoria

Knut Hamsun's Victoria

Jazzland Recordings
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait CD/LP/Track Review
Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Lost Days CD/LP/Track Review
Lost Days
by Don Phipps
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Cabin In The Sky CD/LP/Track Review
Cabin In The Sky
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Higher CD/LP/Track Review
Higher
by Jim Trageser
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Faroe CD/LP/Track Review
Faroe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2018
Read The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale
by Gareth Thompson
Published: August 15, 2018
Read "Can't Get Started" CD/LP/Track Review Can't Get Started
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 24, 2017
Read "Basement Sessions Vol. 4 (The Bali Tapes)" CD/LP/Track Review Basement Sessions Vol. 4 (The Bali Tapes)
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 28, 2018
Read "Weapons Of Mass Distraction" CD/LP/Track Review Weapons Of Mass Distraction
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 31, 2017
Read "D'Agala" CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Loneliness Road" CD/LP/Track Review Loneliness Road
by Doug Collette
Published: October 1, 2017
Read "Genuinity" CD/LP/Track Review Genuinity
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 31, 2018