Latest Box-set of Early Arve Henriksen works on Rune Grammofon label will be a real treat for all of those who, like myself, admire the Art of the Norwegian trumpeter. It contains 42 tracks spread into 4 albums: Towards Language – Live at Punkt, Acousmograph, Captured Under Mountainsides, Cryosphere from which only the first had been previously available as a stream. Other than that, it is the music which had never being heard before, until now when trumpeter himself revisited Rune’s archive and put all the music into the specific order.
Towards Language – Live at Punkt is a live version of the studio album of the same title which is interesting approach given the way Arve works. I know the original and I am equally a fan of the Live. Let’s start from that as I had lots of time to think about it even before this wonderful boxset hit my doors. I was listening to this a lot, as I previously did to the studio version. After all I wasn’t sure what is the original and what is after? The sense of Live had really being lost to me as both versions are brilliant, and it doesn’t really matter to me at the end which one evolved from which. Life is a transformation process, so is the art.
Acousmograph is completely different cosmos. It is a study of the borders of the instrument and in the same time self-exploring boundaries of his own artistic soul. The music which plays in his head, little studies of form and patterns as well as articulations, dubbed and electronically transformed to the level it doesn’t sound any more like a trumpet. Inspired by the Minimal Music like Cage or contemporary composers like Penderecki, Glass or Reich. I can trace momentums which later came to shape on the following studio albums, Take for example trumpet lines from the Prelude unfolding score, it came to his final shape on Cartography as an opening track Poverty And Its Opposite. Choral fragment with an Organ bardon and accompaniment on the same track comes out the transformation as an arrangement one can listen to on Arve’s Places Of Worship, the Lament. There is many moments like that which are going to become precious discoveries for the careful listeners.
Captured Under Mountainsides takes us into the territory of unlimited space, which sound and phrasing of Arve’s trumpet is calling for. Foggy and airy soundscapes spread between the mountains, volleys and meadows. With their unstrained sense of freedom. There is plenty of references to the sonic universe of Places of Worship period again. Tracks like Alhambra, Portal, Adhan, which are emerging from trumpeter’s collaboration with Jan Bang, Eivind Aarset and Eric Honore period dating around 2013.
Cryosphere, in similar fashion reworks and remixes material from concerts from first decade of the 2000 and clearly echoing material reissued on later, 2008 ECM Cartography session, with the clearest example being an opening Origin, which materialised itself into sampled version as Migration on the mentioned above album.
This is a proper feast of the Gods for die for Henriksen’s fans.