Henriksen’s latest project started as a commissioned work for the city of Hull, UK and it is sort of a tribute to Scandinavia and England’s long lasting inter-sea relationship. Given the fact that two long time collaborators and probably the most intriguing Norwegian guitarist are part of the project brings back memories of fantastic sessions like Chiaroscuro or Place or Worship, which I both do admire and quite often am listening too.
On English side the Hull based sound artist Jez Riley French contributes with electronic tissue which contains filed recordings and samples, further looped into the composition. On top of it there is also Choir and Orchestra of the Opera North who supplies some Symphonic lines and the Vocalises co-building this unusual project.
When it comes to some uncommon projects nobody would fit better with their challenging personalities like those three extraordinary musicians. Therefore, the stamp of these personalities is quite feel-able to anybody familiar with their Art, like myself.
The mood is very mystic and highly spiritual. Addition of the Orchestra and Choir reminds the same pillars of communication which the trumpeter already created during his long-time collaboration with Trio Mediaeval, but compositions are even more lacy then usual even by Arve’s standards. The fact that the music came to fit the purpose might be responsible for it. Either then that it contains all what makes Henriksen’s music as we know it. The dialogue between the past and the present handled with an incredible sensitivity and almost intuitive shifts between moods, styles and cultural backgrounds.
In fact,the trumpeter’s flawlessness is clearly making these boarders disappear or at least blending to the point that it becomes more and more difficult to trace an inspirations and origins, but without losing and easiness of his message.
That is something that makes you think about the parallel nature of the human experience, despite of distance, climate or believing. Patterns alone and human desire to express that, no matter how originally one feels it, on the end the emotional intelligence is always putting an equal mark between them.
Listening to this music is like a flight over the misty river with a key of cranes, in the fresh air, straight into a day which is just awaking in some warming rays of the morning Sun. You do not know yet what it is going to bring you, but the openness of the space and calmness of the sounds surrounding you in this spectacle are sort of assuring that it is going to be a wonderful day. It must have been a wonderful experience to walk over the Humber Bridge, wearing headphones with that music in your head. No surprise that project had been rewarded with an overwhelming popularity and one more iconic work in already exceptional artists’ portfolio.