The second recording from Norwegian trumpeter Hilde Marie Holsen differs vastly from her phenomenal ARA debut which hit the world in 2015. Different is also a subject, which now refers to artist’s collaboration with painter Tyra Fure Brandsæter and gives new meaning to the core inspiration for those soundscapes. Four titles on the CD are all named after metamorphic minerals needed to create pigments for the paints: Orpiment, Eskolaite, Lapis and Lazuli are used respectively for: orange-yellow, green, blue and so called “sacred blue”.
Knowing that might make your imagination seeing the sonic landscapes in completely new way.
She had from the beginning her own voice and autonomy, which is not easy when you come from the country having already such greats as Nils Petter Molvaer and Arve Henriksen present on the trumpet firmament. When ARA was more about articulation, breath control and looking for the new ways how to express the trumpet through electronica, Lazuli is more focused. Both are equally short, which might indicate the fact that she likes to operate in tight time shells. Unlike on ARA when it takes long time for first trumpet notes to come, here it comes straight forward. One needs a brush to paint as they say, but does he really?
On Orpiment the sound is warm and immersive. Long notes extended even more with post-processing. It lasts hardly three minutes and introduces repetitive simple melody line overlapping apocryphal groovy sound hanging in an air with various intensity. As such it makes great intro to the recording and sets up a contemplative mood and sonically opens the gates for your imagination to step further.
Following Eskolaite is much faster and rolling forward with a different mood. The trumpet plays notes even longer and more delayed, deliberately distorted by software. Percussive tissue in the background sounds very organic and kind of describe the rocky nature of the mineral, one can almost imagine somebody crumbling and grinding it to get what he demands. Floating trumpet loops are definitely in the crowns of the trees, where the wind lives as apposite to definitively root-y character of electronic artefacts holding most of the gravity. This is very wide-angle view to me, foggy and humid with lots of horizontal layers.
The fact it lasts longer makes this feeling of an immersion even bigger and wider.
Going towards blue, takes us as expected to the minor scales. Purity of the trumpet notes here are almost angelic. With lots of air and decay. This extension comes a higher purity of the trumpet sounds, which are now more descriptive. Entire landscape is covered with shades of blue of different provenience and one can feel it in everything, even in blacks. The melody is pure, and the tune leads you into the air, so you see the pictures from the bird’s point of view now. Perspective becomes more vertical and eternal character of the composition takes over.
Closing Lazuli is the longest one, almost as long as preceding ones, if not physically – it feels like that anyway. The waves of sound are coming here like a tight, with the brutal force and dominant presence, like something absolute. The Universe. Undependable power. The momentum builds higher and higher with each next wave coming. That almost pushes you into the worship, buy its density and concentration. On that landscape, long extended solo introduced in the middle of the tune brings something absolute to the imagination and it makes it almost impossible to describe the feeling. To sum it up I must say she progressed 200% percent for me with that development of the new language and did prove that her voice matured seriously since I heard her debut. Incredibly pure and high-quality recording, which
I must admire, is notorious for Hubro makes it a pure debauchery fest for your ears and eyes.