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...


Punkt Festival 2014

Henning Bolte By

Sign in to view read count
The album's title originates from Honoré's first novel Orakelveggen (Oracle Routes). The opening chapter of the book contains a fictional account of the development of photography nearly 200 years ago. Frenchman Joseph Niépce was the first, in 1822, to apply a procedure of light gravure, which he called heliography—writing with sunlight. The process used Bitumen of Judea, a naturally occurring asphalt, as a coating on glass or metal. It hardened in proportion to its exposure to light. When the plate was washed with oil of lavender, only the hardened areas remained. This concept is an illuminative cue to the album's nature, its bringing into relief from dark substratum which can also serve as a metaphor for the reverse characterstics of media—and life—and might trigger reflection (!) on the common properties of light and sound.

Stoically, the pulsing, humming, undulating dark-textured drone uncoiled with subliminal expectation of ebullitions, small and big bumps, de-railings or sudden outbursts. Bruisma's violin viscerally silhouetted against the background and shed tonal lights—even more intense as a new not yet fully adapted voice. Aarset's guitar eventually started soaring with a strong Oriental tinge; meanwhile, the dark soundscape was shifting from close-up to frontal view, and vice versa. Later still, Bruinsma's violin returned to the center with the beauty of a lost voice in the dark, as Henriksen and Aarset echoed each other in the vast sea of sound before the loud and cacophonous outburst of "Strife" took place. Honoré finished with "Sanctuary Revisited," crossfading into Morten Qvenild and Arve Henriksen's duo remix. Their remix turned into a softly vibrating curve with loopings of Bruisma's violin and Henriksen's own singing, joined by Qvenild's slowly emerging organ. But Qvenild is not a man to dwell; very soon he went against it, shattering and shaking. Finally, humor won out over severity through Qvenild's well-timed twist. The remix was a kind of extended coda that marked a new entrance.

Guitarist Christian Fennesz (pronounced /fenness/) returned to Punkt this year after playing, in 2013, with David Sylvian and Stephan Mathieu in The Kilowatt Hour. Fennesz's guitar is maybe one of the loudest beauty: no matter how loud he is playing, the beauty in it remains. It is, however, not a question of sheer volume, it is Fennesz's combination and fine-tuning of vibrations, and overdriven sounds on the edge of interference noise. No matter how loud and overdriven, a core quality remained clearly recognizable throughout. The thundering and roaring also set free lots of musical recollections, recognizable elements...even motifs, shining through the massive noise.

Fennesz is closely connected to the Viennese Polwechsel musicians, which is not self-evident at first sight/ear. Polwechsel bassist Werner Dafeldecker and Polwechsel drummer Martin Brandlmayr both participated in Fennesz's just-released Bécs (pronounced /baeetch/, the Hungarian name for Vienna). Polwechsel, in turn, is connected to and collaborates with John Tilbury and David Sylvian.

Fennesz played his solo set stoically, with only few adjusting actions on his laptop and switchboard on a table—no armada of pedals. Very loud swooshing and swishing, very simple motifs, all enlarged and extended, like a starting, departing and ascending airplane. Breaks were timed very well to redirect the attention. He even went into Albatross mode very briefly, and started a frenzied repetitive ascending guitar riff that led the heartbeat to a higher rate. And then, he went out of it just before it came to close to its own secondary cliché. It seems that he tried to let it go, emerging from the parameters set at the start to let it sing as much as possible.

To enter a remix of Fennesz by a string quartet could be called bold, and bold it was. It was also the quartet's very first appearance at the Punkt Festival, a double challenge and a test. Bang and Honoré hit the stage, immediately after Fennesz's performance, with Dutch string men Jeffrey Bruinsma (violin), Jasper le Clercq (violin), Oene van Geel (viola) and Emile Visser (cello): the tight quartet, Zapp.


comments powered by Disqus


Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Live Reviews
Odean Pope Quartet at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
By Victor L. Schermer
January 15, 2019
Live Reviews
Denise Donatelli at Mezzrow
By Nicholas F. Mondello
January 10, 2019
Live Reviews
The Los Cabos Jazz Experience 2018
By Wendy Ross
January 5, 2019
Live Reviews
Rene Marie With Experiment In Truth At The Jazz Corner
By Martin McFie
January 3, 2019
Live Reviews
Joey Alexander Trio With Chris Potter at SFJAZZ
By Harry S. Pariser
December 31, 2018
Live Reviews
Live From Birmingham: Joe Louis Walker, Alasdair Roberts & Brian Jackson
By Martin Longley
December 29, 2018

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/websites/ on line 5