146

Motland / Lonberg-Holm / Solberg / Gjerstad: VCDC

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Motland / Lonberg-Holm / Solberg / Gjerstad: VCDC This unconventional quartet is comprised of Frode Gjerstad, fellow Norwegians and citizens of the Norwegian reeds hero's hometown, Stavanger, vocalist Stine Janvin Motland and drummer Ståle Liavik Solberg (known also as the MotSol duo, for whom Gjerstad produced the debut, Strap on (FMR, 2006)). Frequent Gjerstad collaborator, Chicago-based cellist Fred Longberg-Holm, rounds out the quartet, his last collaboration with the reed player, Sugar Maple, together with Chicago drummer Michael Zerang, released by FMR in 2010.

Even though Gjerstad is the link between all musicians, and the one in charge of recording, mixing and mastering this recording, this is definitely a collaborative effort—one that is improvised on the spot, wild, adventurous and highly rewarding. Motland is a creative vocal artist with an amazing vocal range, wild imagination and wicked sense of humor. At times, she sounds as if she is playing with the textures Longberg-Holm and Gjerstad are producing from cello and clarinet, experimenting with emulation of these tones, pushing them to otherworldly limits; elsewhere, she sounds as though she's mocking their limited vocabularies (compared to hers, on any given moment), or simply inventing new languages. Solberg has his own sense of rhythm, free from the task of injecting a steady pulse, and free to focus on adding nuanced colors to all the improvisations.

Gjerstad and Lonberg-Holm are excellent partners for this kind of free-form improvisations, both experienced and creative musicians, fast thinking, collaborative and supportive and ready for any sonic challenge. Together, they support beautifully Motland's vocal flights and Solberg's fractured, spare percussion, solidifying them with a sense of form and coherence. "CXSX" and "WDED" are such improvisations, where a gentle, dreamy interplay between Gjerstad and Lonberg-Holm abruptly changes to dense, stormy talk when Motland and Solberg join, but still follow an internal logic without falling apart.

On other improvisations, such as "UBCB," everyone produces strange sounds from their instruments— Lonberg-Holm and Solberg rubbing theirs, Gjerstad humming through his clarinet, and Motland sounding equally busy, inventing an alien prayer with distant, angelic utterances. The outcome is surprisingly melodic, and warm and arresting in its sonic possibilities. On the other improvisations the quartet strengthens its unique musical language, stressing tight and supportive interplay, and inevitably raising high hopes for a follow-up to this engaging recording.

Track Listing: Nbgb; Bvfv; Cxsx; Ubcb; Wded; Xzaz; Vcdc.

Personnel: Stine Janvin Motland: voice; Fred Lonberg-Holm: cello; Ståle Liavik Solberg: drums; Frode Gjerstad: clarinet.

Title: VCDC | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Hispid


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations" CD/LP/Track Review Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Ears Are Filled With Wonder" CD/LP/Track Review Ears Are Filled With Wonder
by John Sharpe
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Music of Weather Report" CD/LP/Track Review Music of Weather Report
by John Ephland
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "The Duke Box 2" CD/LP/Track Review The Duke Box 2
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Heavy Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Dance
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Live At the Stone" CD/LP/Track Review Live At the Stone
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.