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The Vocal Art of Norwegian Stine Janvin Motland

Eyal Hareuveni By

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Norwegian vocal artist Stine Janvin Motland is known for highly original, extended vocal techniques. Her range and imagination mark new frontiers for the natural acoustics of the human voice. Motland previously recorded with drummer Ståle Liavik Solberg in S/S Motsol, and with he and local sax hero Frode Gjerstad, plus American cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm in the quartet VCDC. She has slap worked with her home-town, Stavanger-based Kitchen Orchestra and collaborated with other Scandinavian sonic innovators like Maja S.K. Ratkje and Mats Gustafson. Her two solo albums feature two different forms.

Stine Janvin motland
OK Wow
+3dB
2014

OK, Wow was recorded over a two day session, in a wooden church outside Bergen, and employs the sounds of nearby kindergarden children and, naturally, the insistent Bergen rain. These surroundings demanded Motalnd to fill and respond to the building's acoustics and to explore the scope of her voice.

Motland's vocal command is fantastic. She sounds as if there are no limits to the human voice, using clarity that is unique. She explores different aspects, creating concrete poems as fragile, emotional manifestations of herself.

Her vocal utterances can be a rapid series of unintelligible syllables, troubling emotional refections, nervous or excessive, repetitive gibberish. She produces angelic, reverential voices, playful with inventive chants like an alien monk or attempts to pierce the sky with intense shouts. On the longer pieces, "Kroken" and "II," she structures precise minimalist textures, patiently intensifying a distinctly profound emotional effect. She chooses to finish this arresting journey with a playful meditation and question on her own art, "Nicht Jeder Kann ein Dramatischer Koloratursopran Sein," and answers in her own personal way. There are no limits to her imagination.

Stine Janvin Motland
In Labour
Pika Disc
2014

features Motland's vocals in a rare production, by noise master Lasse Marhaug. The recordings of her voice were made at various indoor and outdoor and locations in Norway during the summer and autumn of 2013. The different locations, picked for unique sonic qualities, challenged Motland to explore how daily environments affected her performances.

The environments have distinct sounds but, obviously, are not orchestrated in any musical manner. Motland succeeds in corresponding with these arbitrary, often noisy mechanical field recordings with a masterful sense of invention and texture. She charges fleeting, supposedly non- musical textures with poetic resonance and beauty. Even the repetitive sounds of a pneumatic hammer or passing conversation on "Can't Get Any Closer" are orchestrated as a multi-layered polyphonic piece. Naturally, her chats with birds on "Sounds from Cage" and with dogs on "Labouring," make perfect sense.

The very raw essence of the human voice now sounds not only as a noble, isolated artistic expression but also a basic element of our daily soundtrack with its warm, acoustic range and ability to connect emotionally and subconsciously. Moreover, our dense daily soundtrack suddenly resonates as a one-time, disposable musical, almost as iconoclastic composer John Cage predicted. Neither the musician-artist, nor any composer, earthly or divine, has any impact on it.

Tracks and Personnel

OK WOW
Tracks: Кижи бүрүзү хɵɵмейлеп шыдавас; All Ball; I; Herz; Kroken, II; Alt det overflødige renner ut; Fanfare på ferde; Monk; Nicht jeder kann ein dramatischer koloratursopran sein.
Personnel: Stine Janvin Motland: voice.

In Labour
Tracks: Sorting It All Out; The Day After; Sleepwalker; NNN; The Foehn; Can't Get Any Closer; Test; Late Breakfast; Sounds From Cage; No Display; Nuisance Body Liquids; Condemnation Falls Through; Labouring.Sorting it all out
Personnel: Stine Janvin Motland: voice.

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