Norwegian Hilde Marie Holsen has carved out something very particular and niche in music. Processing her trumpet in the electronic realm, she blends the mournful tone of the brass instrument with the explorative field of electronic music to make music that lists somewhere between jazz, the contemporary and drone music. Holsen’s music has unpicked the frayed boundaries of traditions, calling in a new generation of artists that abandoned stale and repetitive conventions in favour of establishing something unique, in the realms of contemporary music.
Holsen’s debut album «Ask» was released on the Norwegian label Hubro in 2015, and hit the shelves with critical acclaim from amongst others The Guardian, The Wire and The Quietus. Since then, she’s gone on to perform on a number of world stages, both as a solo artist and in collaboration with other musicians, while also continuing her work in the recorded field. In 2018, Holsen followed up with her second solo album, «Lazuli», also released on Hubro, and was claimed to be «an almost shockingly complete musical statement».
Non è solo un affascinante progetto elettroacustico questo debutto del quartetto italo-norvegese Silent Fires, comprendente Alessandro Sgobbio al pianoforte (autore di tutte le composizioni), Hilde Marie Holsen alla tromba ed elettronica, Håkon Aase al violino e percussioni e la cantante Karoline Wallace. In opere simili è molto forte il rischio di cadere in superficialità, eccessi estetizzanti oppure astruse e ridondanti sperimentazioni. Gli undici brani del disco si mantengono invece in esemplare equilibrio tra composizione e libera improvvisazione, canto e poesia, ...
Silent Fires is a quartet which brings together Italian pianist and composer Alessandro Sgobbio with three renowned Norwegians, violinist Håkon Aase, vocalist Karoline Wallace and trumpeter Hilde Marie Holsen--whose one-woman album Lazuli (Hubro, 2018) was very well received. As the YouTube clip below shows, in concert the four are often joined onstage by contemporary dancer and real-time choreographer Synne Garvik. While the four musicians are all experienced improvisers, their debut album Forests is not freely improvised but consists of eleven ...
In May 2015, Norwegian trumpeter and soundscaper Hilde Marie Holsen released her debut recording, Ask, on the Hubro label, to glowing reviews, including an All About Jazz piece that described her as a natural heir of masters such as Nils Petter Molvaer and Arve Henriksen." While that may seem quite a weight to put on the shoulders of a young player with only one album release to her name, Holsen's music on Ask fully justified it. And three years on ...
«The end result is music that is uniquely individual and highly distinctive. Forget any comparisons, Holsen is without parallel. Even more so than Ask did, Lazuli signals the arrival of a bright new star.»
«These pieces sound as if they have developed a life of their own, a tangible entity. Their strong, enigmatic qualities embrace alien elements and sounds, moving organically between deep meditation, through troubled dream-states to colorful sci-fi visions. (…) Highly impressive.»
«Holsen is a new flowering of the Norwegian trumpet legacy. In Holsen’s vertically expanding music, created on the spot, cross-fading, gritting and spreading layers of sound, crunching sand and croaking toads, permeated dune-like silhouettes and airy swathes. Finally it ran into the sound of her solitary trumpet. (…) She is a promising force and definitely a real new, strong (trumpet) voice in the electronic field.»
«But the album’s depth and seriousness means it projects inwards rather than outwards. Even on headphones at full volume, you want to listen harder, to follow the trailing off sounds as they sink lower into the night.»
«From the wee Norwegian label Hubro, […] is this new release from trumpeter Hilde Marie Holsen, who also uses electronics to sketch out her odd landscapes. In this piece, a trumpet improvisation emerges out of twitching static as if picked up by a radio held up to the sky on an icefield. Holsen’s wandering melody is utterly wondrous, and met halfway through by an electronic tone that mirrors it exactly, then strays on its own course – eventually both are caught in an apocalyptic smudge of noise. Exceptional»
«Perhaps not as much geologic as alchemical, there’s an uncanny dimension Holsen somehow sculpts throughout Ask’s 45 minutes – kind of blue, but kind of other – that tenderly and masterfully attends to both melodic and textural dimensions to form a sublime sensual sound.»