2

Arve Henriksen: Places of Worship

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Arve Henriksen: Places of Worship Places of Worship marks the return of Supersilent's trumpeter and vocalist Arve Henriksen to Rune Grammofon after his 2008 solo album Cartography for ECM—if we conveniently ignore the awesome compilation Solidification (Rune Grammofon, 2012). While this new release is credited to Henriksen alone, it continues his long-standing collaboration with Jan Bang and Erik Honoré of Punkt, who played on and produced it, so it could rightly have been credited to all three.

In a methodology reminiscent of Jon Hassell's Fourth World, Bang and Honoré's synths and samples are used to construct richly varied environments in which Henriksen takes centre stage—rather like the soloist in a concerto... except that the album consists of ten tracks of which the longest lasts just five minutes. Although other musicians feature throughout—most notably on the exquisitely beautiful "Alhambra," in which Bang and Honoré both employ live sampling to good effect—the distinctive sounds of Henriksen's trumpet and voice dominate the album, more than justifying his solo billing.

As its title hints, the intention of Places of Worship was to make audible the aura of a selection of religious buildings and ruins, an intention which it easily achieves. The track titles reveal that a range of religions are included and the music reflects that, from the trumpet's plaintive muezzin call on "Adhān" to the subtler, more meditative ambiance of "Bayon." Henriksen's soaring falsetto vocals feature on "Lament" and "Abandoned Cathedral" and are reminiscent of the pure tones a pre-pubescent choirboy, so serving to strongly reinforce the pervading quasi-religious atmosphere of the album. Of the ten tracks, only "Alhambra" was recorded away from the Punkt studio, and that feels rather like a missed opportunity; Henriksen's trumpet and vocals both cry out to be recorded in naturally resonant spaces such as real places of worship; maybe another time, eh?

The sole exception to the overarching religious theme is the album's closing track "Shelter from the Storm," a song written and sung by Honoré himself. Despite sharing its title with a Bob Dylan song, it sounds as if it could have originated on a previously unknown Leonard Cohen album, as illustrated by Honoré's phraseology: "You are my signature / the hand that writes my future / the hidden epitaph / the words beyond my reach / so give me shelter from the storm..." Throughout it, Henriksen provides suitably beautiful trumpet interjections which emphasise the song's haunting melody. Although an anomaly, the track makes an exquisite end to a stunning album. One of the year's best.


Track Listing: Adhān; Saraswati; Le Cimetière Marin; The Sacristan; Lament; Portal; Alhambra; Bayon; Abandoned Cathedral; Shelter from the Storm.

Personnel: Arve Henriksen: trumpets, field recordings (1), voice (5, 9); Jan Bang: samples (1-4, 6, 8, 9), programming (6, 9), live sampling (7); Erik Honoré: samples (1, 2, 4, 5), synth bass (1, 4, 6, 8), synthesizers (2, 3, 4), drum programming (2), live sampling (7), vocal (10), instruments (10); Lars Danielsson: double bass (2); Stahlquartett (Jan Heinke: violin; Alexander Fülle: violin; Michael Antoni: viola; Peter Andreas: cello): string quartet (2); Eivind Aarset: guitars (7, 8), sampled guitar (9); Jon Balke: piano (7), sampled piano (9); Ingar Zach: percussion (7); Christian Wallumrød: sampled piano (3); The Norwegian Wind Ensemble: sampled wind instruments (8); Peter Tornquist: sampled excerpts from "Alba" (8); Rolf Wallin: sampled crystal chord (9).

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Rune Grammofon


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Some Other Time" CD/LP/Track Review Some Other Time
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Guess Who I Saw Today" CD/LP/Track Review Guess Who I Saw Today
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 14, 2016
Read "Innri" CD/LP/Track Review Innri
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Playing the 60s" CD/LP/Track Review Playing the 60s
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Piano Mating" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Mating
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 28, 2016
Read "Impermanence" CD/LP/Track Review Impermanence
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!