All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

2

Arve Henriksen: Places of Worship

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
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, 3), live sampling (7), vocal (10), instruments (10); Lars Danielsson: double bass (3); Stahlquartett (Jan Heinke: violin; Alexander Fülle: violin; Michael Antoni: viola; Peter Andreas: cello): string quartet (3); 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).

Title: Places Of Worship | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Rune Grammofon

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Locked & Loaded CD/LP/Track Review
Locked & Loaded
by John Kelman
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Long Story Short CD/LP/Track Review
Long Story Short
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Awase CD/LP/Track Review
Awase
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich CD/LP/Track Review
Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by John Sharpe
Published: May 26, 2018
Read My Singing Fingers CD/LP/Track Review
My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read "92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House" CD/LP/Track Review 92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Moldy Figs" CD/LP/Track Review Moldy Figs
by Paul Rauch
Published: July 10, 2017
Read "In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording" CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 11, 2018
Read "Unit[e]" CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Resonance" CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Open Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Open Borders
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 14, 2018