Norwegian percussionist Terje Isungset and trumpeter Arve Henriksen seem to have enjoyed careers predicated on the continuous, never-ending search for new sounds. Isungset has incorporated, into his arsenal of percussive instruments, some that are made of natural elements including wooden trunks and branches, stonesand, in recent years, ad-hoc instruments made of ice from different locations around the globe. Henriksen, a close Isungset collaborator who has performed on ice trumpet, has expanded the sonic language of the trumpet in a manner that encompasses the human voice and the transparent sound of Eastern flutes like the shakuhachi.
Estonian music producer Madli-Liis Parts initiated another sonic adventure for the duo as part of the grand finale concerts of Tallinn's year-long status as 2011 European Capital of Culture. In these concerts, Isungset and Henriksen played 30 fantastic glass instruments, prepared over a period of two years by celebrated Estonian artists led by Eeva Käsper and Mare Saare, all lit with bright, intense blue light.
In preparation for these concerts, Isungset and Henriksen assisted the artists in shaping these unique instruments over two visits to Tallinn, suggesting ideas such as adding holes and polishing the glass thinner to produce a more gentle and resonant timbre.
World of Glass offers 15 miniatures from the sonic universe made possible by these glass instruments. As with Isungset and Henriksen's previous improvised engagements with ice instruments, the two succeed in forming an expansive, versatile interplay of tribal, otherworldly folk sounds, performed with gentle dynamics of a nuanced resonant range.
The glass instruments stress the quiet intensity of Henriksen's fragile, almost ethereal trumpet and vocal sounds. Isungset wisely uses the overtones created by his instruments to deepen the peaceful, hypnotic effect of the soundscapes. The poetic interplay intensifies slowly over the course of the recording, with pieces conceptualizing distant thunder storms or disturbing, restless atmospheres, but concludes with a fascinating, meditative improvisation that highlights this magical, most beautiful experience.
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