4

Huntsville: Past Increasing, Future Receding

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Huntsville: Past Increasing, Future Receding
For their fourth album release—the second on the Hubro label—the Norwegian guitar/bass/drums (plus effects) trio Huntsville have moved away from the collaborations (notably that with vocalist Hanne Hukkelberg) which characterised their last two recordings, and again opted to record as a threesome. The main reason for that is obvious once the music begins. Past Increasing, Future Receding was recorded in the Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum at Slemdal in Oslo—a dimly lit barrel-vaulted room completely covered in frescos painted by Vigeland, who erected the building in 1926 to house his sculptures and paintings in the future. Now a popular concert and recording venue, the space has extraordinary acoustics so that even the smallest sound in it produces a long echo.

The opening track, "Presence in Absence," begins with a low-key drone that is unobtrusive enough to cause no great echoes—and then, some eighty-four seconds in, a far louder percussive sound resounds (and resounds and resounds...) for all of ten seconds, amply demonstrating just what the space is capable of. Among improvising musicians, it has become a truism that the space in which an ensemble performs is like an extra band member, and just as important as other members. Here, that is particularly true, for the space assumes as much importance as the members of the trio, making any other collaboration unnecessary. As they would with any collaborator, the three musicians play around with the space, finding out what it can do and how it responds to the different stimuli they send to it. That process makes fascinating listening as they go on a voyage of discovery... but it would have been good to hear more of the journey they went on.

Oddly, Past Increasing, Future Receding is "the result of three intense working days with sound technician Thomas Hukkelberg." One of the more remarkable things about it is that the sum total of those three days is less than thirty five minutes of released music. One can only conclude that lots of music was recorded but never used—maybe experimentation in the space that was not totally successful? As a result of such selection, the music that was released is of a consistently high standard with no troughs or flat patches. Time after time, the three musicians plus the space combine together to create an appealing groove that contains enough variation and detail to stay fresh and interesting over many repeated listenings.

There is a considerable history of albums recorded in acoustically extraordinary environments; notable examples include John Butcher and Toshimaru Nakamura's Cavern with Nightlife (Weight of Wax, 2002), Butcher's solo recording Resonant Spaces (Confront, 2006), Evan Parker's September Winds and September Duos (Creative Works, 2000) and, of course, several Deep Listening Band albums such as Troglodyte's Delight (¿What Next? 1990). Now, Past Increasing, Future Receding deserves to join such a distinguished list.

Track Listing

Presence in Absence; The Flow of Sand; In an Hourglass

Personnel

Ivar Grydeland: guitars, effects; Tonny Kluften: bass ; Ingar Zach: percussion, effects.

Album information

Title: Past Increasing, Future Receding | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Hubro Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

View events near Oslo
Jazz Near Oslo
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Read Improdimensions
Improdimensions
Agustí Fernández / Liudas Mockūnas
Read In Baltimore
In Baltimore
George Coleman
Read Escape The Flames
Escape The Flames
Binker and Moses

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.