Norwegian composer Øyvind Torvund is an interesting personality to say at least. I can’t say I know lots of his work, but certainly recognise him from collaborations with Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and Plus/Minus Ensemble, which in both cases gives quite a dispersion.
Here we are getting something utterly different as the music is not improvised and neither it is a contemporary classic repertoire. Instead it is sort of the Caribbean Joint containing all kinds of the exotic sounds. Starting with an orchestral intro titled Ritual 1, it sounds to my ears almost like a part of Zorn’s Latin Boys Goes to Hell gay porn movie soundtrack.
Then before the first shock had gone one jumps into syrupy Hawaiian cocktail of sounds like the sort made in 50-60s Iliadic productions about the Beach Paradise life, full of sun, romance and birds singing in the sky, accompanied by equally picturesque littoral life bubbling in sweet unisons. All that sketched with the deliverable vivid and eye glazing fashion.
The deeper into Paradise the more Lovebird like the song becomes, counterpointed with nice and wavy strings putting the final shivering with due sense of touch into the picture, with grass laying aside much like Dorothy stepping into the Land of Oz.
But bare in mind that Øyvind is a proper Nordic, not the surfing Polynesian, hence the landscape shortly faces a challenge and changes rapidly. With Waking Up Again, the game the picture becomes stormy and distorted. The music is written in a really lovely way with moods changing as it travels through the orchestral rows, building a storm and then realising the tension with long brassy waves, both illustrative and super-sonic in the same time.
The deeper we walk into the island the landscape changes from an idyllic sand dune to wet and lucid humidity of the rain-forest. The plunking pizzicato played by strings are building a real sense of the dripping wet surroundings in this Rainforest Morning.
As one would expect after an intense shower like that with all but windy breeze boiled by an orchestral culmination, next in the front of your eyes, with the raising sounds of flying over the band harp, Rainbow Crystal appears, fully present and with all the colours shining right in front of your eyes,
Coming after Jungle Alarm, with a rhythmic theme build on the percussive patterns imitating damped and distant sound of Tam -Tams nicely brakes the Sun rays and builds some tension.
My favourite piece is the Cave, near the end of the recording, containing an imaginative dialogue between the sax, played by Kjetil Moster and electronic soundscape, created by Jorgen Traeen. With all the over blows and echoes the windy, cold and spacious image of the inside of the cave had been sketched.
Closing, Out of the Jungle, takes Us in a great style back home after a sweet tropical romance with the melody swinging in tears dripping from your girlfriend’ eyes, when the big “THE END” and dropping curtain are both marking the end of the story. It is Joyful music one will be coming back to with a wide smile. I certainly am.