nedjelja, 20. siječnja 2013.

Jan Bang & Erik Honoré / David Sylvian - Uncommon Deities (2012)

Sylvian je čitao pjesme na Punkt festivalu u Norveškoj a Jan Bang i Erik Honoré tu su recitaciju poslije umotali u zvukovni pamuk napravljen trubom Arvea Henriksena i glasom Sidsel Endresen.

Samadhisound releases Uncommon Deities, a reinvention of David Sylvian’s audiovisual installation, produced by Jan Bang and Erik Honoré and featuring performances by David Sylvian, Arve Henriksen and Sidsel Endresen on September 14th 2012 in two versions (CD and Deluxe). Sylvian recently did some readings of some poetry for a gallery installation in Norway, and they've turned the readings into a full blown album.The concept is based on the audio-visual installation Uncommon Deities by David Sylvian, commissioned by the Punkt Festival.

The God of Single Cell Organisms

A film by Marc Atkins and Chris Bigg. Taken from the album “Uncommon Deities” by Jan Bang/Erik Honoré/David Sylvian…

At last fall’s Punkt Festival—one of the world’s premiere get-togethers of improvising and adventurous musicians—the Sørlandets Kunstmuseum in Kristiansand, Norway played host to Uncommon Deities, an unusual confluence of talents and media. Walking into the gallery’s large space, visitors were greeted by a series of paintings by Atsushi Fukui that culminated in the striking, hermaphroditic figure in “The Botanist.” An audio installation by David Sylvian filled the space, and the opening night celebration brought poets and musicians into the mix: the acclaimed Norwegian poets Paal-Helge Haugen and Nils Christian Moe Repstad read alongside Evan Parker and Arve Henriksen, and their works were read in English by Sylvian, whose recorded voice was accompanied by John Tilbury, Philip Jeck, and Sidsel Endresen.
The CD release of Uncommon Deities isn’t a document of the installation, but a reinvention: the poems and Sylvian’s readings are placed in new settings by Jan Bang and Erik Honoré. The cofounders of the Punkt festival and close collaborators on the original installation, Bang and Honoré draw on new performances by the deeply sympathetic trumpeter Arve Henriksen and the startling, elemental singer Sidsel Endresen. These improvisations join live material captured at last year’s Punkt events, in a production that’s spacious and atmospheric, somber and escapist, light-hearted and steeped in history—a recording as rich as the ancestry of the work that inspired it.
Uncommon Deities grew out of an earlier installation. In 2009, Sylvian was commissioned to create a work for the Biennial of Canaries on Gran Canaria of the Canary Islands. He collaborated with composer Dai Fujikura and a small ensemble on the resulting audio installation “When we return you won’t recognize us.” The piece was inspired by a 2003 genetics research article focusing on the Canary Islands, which discovered that despite Spanish colonization and the slave trade, fully half to three-quarters of the population retains its aboriginal genetic lineage. Sylvian explains, “My interest lay in the connection between the physical or scientific reality of our biological make-up, the links to lineage (genetic genealogy), location and, to move beyond the realm of science into intuitive logic, the interior life of a community or people. An implied cultural heritage.”
Ahead of Punkt 11, where he served as Artist in Residence, Sylvian was invited to reinstall the work at a Kristiansand art museum. “It occurred to me that, rather than recreate the audio installation as was, why not expand upon the concept of the work by inviting [Atsushi] Fukui to be a part of the piece, adding a much-desired visual element, and invite performers to participate in the installation, be they writers, poets, musicians… ,” recalls Sylvian. “There was room for all of these elements to interact without a sense of too many cooks, without a loss of the impetus that brought the original audio piece into existence.”
For the visual element, “I requested that Fukui recreate ‘The Botanist’ on the wall of the museum and that we’d work with a lighting designer, one with whom I’d worked with previously on past touring projects, to augment the work. On the surrounding walls Fukui created 30 original works, like frames from a Japanese manga comic, that expanded upon the story of The Botanist but not in a linear or narrative sense. We’re talking archetypes and creation myth.”
Bang and Honoré recruited two Norwegian poets and long-time Punkt participants. Paal-Helge Haugen’s inspiration came straight from the title. The bulk of this recording features his portraits of small deities—the god of sleeplessness, the god of smaller gods. Says Paal-Helge Haugen, “About twenty years ago, I met the great Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi for the first time,” recalls Haugen. “During our first conversation, we talked about a lot of things, and Antonio proposed, in a jokingly-earnest way, that we should join forces and write an encyclopedia of unknown gods and other celestial beings. As it turned out, we never undertook such a venture, but the idea never quite left any of us.
“As soon as I heard David’s title— ‘Uncommon Deities’—that must have touched on the old idea of Antonio’s. … From there everything evolved. Of course I had to make a small selection of all the hidden and forgotten gods that go unnoticed by us in our mundane existence. To choose which gods to include was the difficult part. There are lots of them. Some of them I regret not being able to document. That would have been a week’s continual performance. At least.”
“It’s always been my goal that text and music shall be turned into some kind of symbiosis. Not that you’re going to have a text or a poem accompanied by music or vice versa, it’s always been very important for me that text and music sort of blend together,” says Nils Christian Moe Repstad, whose text is heard in the final track, “I Swallowed Earth For This.”
Says Bang, “The poems and David’s reading were the guidelines for gathering the material to what has become a set of miniatures.” The final recording intersperses the readings with solo improvisations by Arve Henriksen and Sidsel Endresen, while the bedrock of each track includes material sampled from Punkt performances recorded last year in Kristiansand and Tallinn. Many of the musicians Sylvian selected for Punkt 11 appear on his album Manafon, as well as Died in the Wool, which features Bang and Honoré’s signature sampling and production techniques—and listeners will hear a thread through all three albums, as well as new risks and inventions. While some of the backdrops are vanishingly ambient, others are rich with fragments snatched from an improvisation and given new aims: a burble of chip tunes are joined by an upright bass; jolts of strings from a piece by Dai Fujikura dance against a heart-rending utterance by Endresen.
This record isn’t a snapshot of the installation, or a collage of the festival; it’s a wholly new work, melding disparate pieces into a gorgeous, absorbing experience. The crossing of boundaries—of language, form, performance practice, and recording strategy—is a manifestation of the ideas that have infused the piece from the start. Says Sylvian, “The Botanist is an archetype. I’m reminded of Ramana Maharshi, of his embodiment of the male and the female energies and their manifestation in the physical nature of his being. We embody both the male and the female energies within us. These are obviously multidimensional, subtle and extremely complex. Different aspects of our nature and behavior can be influenced by the precedence given to any one particular energy, or confluence of these energies, as they manifest themselves in us, at any given point in time. … I am not one but many and we are not many but one.” – Samadhisound

As the 2012 Punkt Festival debuts its eighth annual edition at its home base of Kristiansand, Norway—but this time, in the brand new, state of the art Kilden Performing Arts Centre—it has gradually evolved into something more than just a festival. The brainchild of co-artistic directors Jan Bang and Erik Honoré has even managed to transcend its founding premise of live remixes—taking performances in the main theater and, immediately afterwards, conducting a live remix, with other musicians thrown into the mix. In collaboration with a growing network of Punkt associates including singer Sidsel Endresen, trumpeter Arve Henriksen, guitarist Eivind Aarset, pianist John Tilbury and avant-songsmith David Sylvian, Bang and Honoré have literally shaped a new approach to composition. Predicated on samples from improvised settings combined with real-time free play, in order to virtually reverse-engineer compositions, it has grown, over the past decade, from Henriksen's Chiaroscuro (Rune Grammofon, 2004) and the Punkt Records compilation, Crime Scenes (2006), both produced by Bang and Honoré, to fuller fruition on the trumpeter's 2008 ECM debut, Cartography, and Bang's first recording as a leader, ...and poppies from Kandahar (2010), not at all coincidentally on Sylvian's SamadhiSound imprint.
The Sylvian connection goes further still. The British songwriter's approach to building songs around standalone free improvisations began on his 2003 SamadhiSound premiere with guitarist Derek Bailey, Blemish (2003), but became even further realized with 2009's Manafon, and integrated with Bang and Honoré's soundworld through their participation on Died in the Wool: Manafon Variations (2011).
Uncommon Deities is the next logical step for Bang, Honoré, Sylvian and the expanding Punkt network. The idea began at Punkt 2011, when Sylvian—also invited to curate one evening of music—launched his audio-visual installation, Uncommon Deities, at Kristiansand's Sørlander Art Museum, using it as the broader umbrella for a series of improvised performances in support of texts by Norwegian poets Paal-Helge Haugen and Nils Christian Moe-Repstad.
Uncommon Deities, the recording, is not merely a live document of that installation, however, and performances from artists including many found here, including Henriksen, Endresen, Aarset and Tilbury—though that would certainly have been enough. Instead, Bang and Honoré have—together and in collaboration with others in the set—constructed a series of compositions that combine samples from Sylvian's installation, Punkt's 2011 visit to Tallinn, and other 2011 Kristiansand Punkt performances, with subsequent improvised recordings, all tied together, once again, by Haugen and Moe-Repstad's poetry, read with remarkable Zen by Sylvian.
Titles like "The God of Silence," "The God of Smaller Gods," "The God of Crossroads" and "The God of Gradual Abdication" reflect the increasing sophistication of Bang and Honoré's concepts, with some pieces feeling like ambient soundscapes, others approaching a skewed beauty through Henriksen's unmistakable tone and unpredictable lyricism, and still others reflecting a darker angularity, yet remaining strangely compelling and absolutely appropriate to Sylvian's word-perfect narration.
Endresen—the other significant contributor along with Henriksen and Sylvian—continues to hone her vocal innovations, which are equally fundamental to seven of Uncommon Deities' twelve tracks; her stuttering sibilances, odd vowel utterances and cell-based vocal techniques still absolutely musical. As absolutely oblique as she sometimes can be, the unfailing warmth and timbral richness of her voice works as both a textural partner to all the other sound sources, and as an instrument that, on occasion moves forward to the front of the mix.
If there was any precedent for Uncommon Deities it might be in contemporary composer (and one-time Punkt performer) Gavin Bryars and his A Man in a Room, Gambling (GB, 2003) and I Send You This Cadmium Red (GB, 2010). But, in both cases, Bryars took the spoken word source material and scored compositions around them. In the case of Uncommon Deities, the musical sources are freely improvised at various places and times, making it an album that changes the concept of linear composition into one of temporal displacement, where a string sample from one performance in 2011 can be combined with trumpet, piano and vocal samples from different shows at different times, and then augmented with additional synthesizers at yet another point in time.
Good music is often described as timeless, but precious little of it is timeless by actual definition; what Bang and Honoré have done, over the course of the past decade, is train their ears to hear unexpected commonalities from disparate musical sources taking place at different times. Uncommon Deities may sound academic, with all this talk of reverse composition and technology. But what makes it both a masterpiece in its own right and the obvious extension—not just for its two primary protagonists, but for each and every participant in the recording—of lessons learned through the Punkt axis, is how organic, how natural, how inevitable it all feels. Uncommon Deities may seem to be about lofty concepts, but it's ultimately an unfailingly human experience, one that resonates long after the final track has ended, as it suggests both deeper musical truths and profound clarity about the human condition. - JOHN KELMAN

+ +

JAN BANG ....and Poppies From Kandahar

… And Poppies From Kandahar, Jan Bang’s first album under his own name, evokes a powerful sense of place – but it’s not a place you would recognize, or ever expect to find.  A descendent of Jon Hassell’s “fourth world” concept, it sketches scenes of struggle and malice, in locales both primitive and urbane.   As a producer, Bang stitches it together like a patchwork atlas and then makes the seams disappear: live recordings and studio constructions, old samples and new solos come together to form an exquisite whole. Bang recruits a cast of collaborators from Norway and beyond, who will be familiar to anyone who’s followed his recent productions: trumpeter and vocalist Arve Henriksen, whose albums Cartography and Chiaroscuro were co-produced by Bang; the stunning vocalist Sidsel Endresen, whose captivating turn on “The Midwife’s Dilemma” grows out of a moan and a half-croak; and samadhisound founder David Sylvian, who wrote the titles for each piece and the album as a whole, setting these abstract scenes in a disruptive context.  MORE

Punkt founder and live sampler Jan Bang together with a star team of musicians join forces for an exclusive tour performing material from the Samadhisound release ”...And Poppies From Kandahar”. The album evokes a powerful sense of place – but it’s not a place you would recognize, or ever expect to find.  A descendent of Jon Hassell’s “fourth world” concept, it sketches scenes of struggle and malice, in locales both primitive and urbane.

“…Another very special album from the Samadhi Sound stable”

“…One of the more impressive albums I have heard in a long time. 
It proves that there are always new roads to travel, that there is still a lot of new music to explore”

“…A refined, close to chill-out sound which has more of an urban feel than fellow Norwegian Jan Garbarek’s more spacey and forlorn landscapes”Wall Street Journal

“…Jan Bang interweaving live instrumentals, studio processing, field recordings and other effluvia into dreamy, off-kilter soundscapes--dreamscapes might be a better term--that carry the whiff of the exotic”

-and poppies from Kandahar; a 45-minute travelogue of sound, shape, color and emotion that touches on the human condition with rare depth and keen perception. JOHN KELMAN

The musical spheres Jan Bang works in revolve around such luminaries as Jon Hassell, David Sylvian, Brian Eno, Sidsel Endresen, Nils Petter Molvaer and Arve Henriksen. From his work as successful pop producer in the 1990s his creative thrust and pioneering work in developing the concept of live remix- improvising with electronics alongside more conventional instruments and performers -  has led today to  him being constantly in-demand  as producer and performer. In 2005 he launched, together with Erik Honoré the internationally renowned  Punkt Festival where Bang’s live sampling, his own musical instrument, works within the framework of overlapping  concerts one being the original, the other the remix.  The Punkt brand has already travelled abroad to the UK, Germany and has plans to visit the United States. Bang’s recent recorded work includes  the acclaimed CDs Cartography by Arve Henriksen and Jon Hassell’s Last Night the Moon Came, both on ECM.  Recent live performances and tours have included with Jon Hassell to Sidney Opera House as part of Eno´s own festival and last year playing Carnegie Hall in NYC and Royce Hall, LA. In November -08, as curator of "Scene Norway during the opening of King´s Place in london - BBC´s Fiona Talkington invited Punkt for a three day festival as part of the London Jazz Festival. More on Bang HERE
In the '70s, two American musicians were able to revolutionize the use and language of their instrument as well as its orchestral context. Two trumpeters: one, Miles Davis, the other, Jon Hassell, who made his first appearance five years after Miles' brilliant "On the Corner" with his "Vernal Equinox" (1977). And at that point, the electro-acoustic revolution became concretized: sound effects galore, vocalization of the sound of the trumpet, sound loops and, especially, development of a new temporality. Jon Hassell continues to expand and challenge this definition - most recently with his 2009 album on ECM, Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street, featuring the "live sampling" virtuosity of the Norwegian musician, Jan Bang. "Live sampling" refers to a process that can be considered a completely new instrument with no "native" sound of its own. The virtuoso player is able to capture the actual sound of any instrument in the middle of a performance via instantaneous sampling and then manipulating that musical "cell" in a nearly limitless spectrum of digital transformation.For instance, a sustained keyboard chord, seamlessly blended into it's digital mirror image, can suddenly "take flight," up and away from the limitations of the physical instrument

Bios and info Jan Bang and musicians:

Greta Aagre / Erik Honoré’s avatar

Erik Honoré and Greta Aagre, Year of the Bullet (2012) soundcloud


Erik Honore and Greta Aagre: Year of the Bullet Impressive in its reach and warmth, the music of keyboardist/sampler/lyricist Erik Honoré and vocalist Greta Aagre on Year of the Bullet feels like a perfect brushstroke of sound calligraphy, full of cinematic passages that are designed to evoke a broad emotional spectrum. This is the duo's third release and first signed under their names—previously, they were known as Elsewhere.
Years of the Bullet is an Italian expression describing the hard '70s, when Italy was plagued by political tension and terrorism. Mostly written in Italy, the album combines a masterful and imaginative blending of samples taken from various geographical locations and sources, as well as live instruments. The outcome is an almost otherworldly, pillow-soft music with an unending flow of ideas.
As one of the driving forces behind the highly creative and original Punkt festival in Norway, an acclaimed producer and remixer and inveterate collaborator, Honoré lives up to his reputation as he creates layered and rich soundscapes that ripple like ancient tapestries given a fresh airing. Accompanied by these beautiful and imaginative instrumental backdrops, Aagre intones captivating, mesmeric spoken and sung passages.
The sonic rush that starts from the opener, "Birth Mark," and ends with the closing "Home," offers a delicate combination of flickering atmospheres, subtle orchestrations and intricate imagery. On one hand, these songs can be seen as beautifully sculpted aural creations and, on the other, as deftly imagined and wonderfully crafted pieces with unmistakable pop leanings. Across these 11 songs there isn't one weak or unnecessary moment to be found. The album balances moods nicely and it's this balance that makes the record both evocative and ethereal. Each song is designed to complement the poem at its center, until Aagre's voice actually becomes music. There is a beautiful playfulness on "Strangeness" which tiptoes elegantly, while tracks such as "Rope," "Before Betrayal" and "Night Train" sound like miniatures that conjure up cathedral-sized ambiences.
The album's cast of supporting musicians is comprised of close friends and acquaintances, like sound maverick Jan Bang,, trumpeter Arve Henriksen, and composer Dai Fujikura, who are all sympathetic to this duo's diverse leanings. British singer David Sylvian—with whom both Honoré and Bang have collaborated extensively, including the parallel-released Uncommon Deities (Samadhisound, 2012)—acted as an external consultant during the final stages of the album's making. Both releases also share the brilliant artwork of renowned designer Chris Bigg (mostly known for his artwork for labels 4AD and Samadhisound). Sylvian's presence can also be felt on the title track, as the pulsating rhythm and tempo closely resemble "Wonderful World," the opener to Sylvian's Snow Borne Sorrow's (Samadhisound, 2006).
The end result is a richly varied album, its stark beauty emphasizing the breadth of the musicians' talents. It is intricate and engaging music that adds warmth and resonance to this duo's musical chiaroscuro.
Track Listing: Birth Mark;Strangeness; Rope; Before Betrayal; Via E; Year of the Bullet; Move to Strike; Night Train; Stay the Course.
Personnel: Erik Honore: samples, synthesizer, synth bass, percussion, piano, percussion programming; Greta Aagre: vocals, samples; Arve Henriksen: trumpet, trumpet samples; Jan Bang: samples, percussion programming; Dai Fujikura: string samples; Greg Williamsburg: backing vocal; Jorgen Rief: guitar, bass; Tom Rudi Torjussen: drums, conga; Tor Henning Leh, electric guitar samples.

Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Jan Bang, Erik Honoré - Birth Wish

Anne Marie Almedal / Jan Bang / Erik Honoré / Nils Chr. Moe-Repstad - Going Nine Ways From Wednesday

Erik Honore: Small Sonic Postcards

Erik Honore: Small Sonic Postcards
Compared to the rest of Europe, Norway's thriving music scene—be it jazz, pop, electronic or in-between genres—seems to be the most varied. Since1996/97, with the release of a number of seminal recordings including trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær's Khmer (ECM, 1997), keyboardist Bugge Wesseltoft's New Conception of Jazz (Jazzland, 1996) and noise improv quartet Supersilent's triple-disc debut, 1-3 (Rune Grammofon, 1997), different strands from that scene joined forces and a new kind of music emerged, one that has not shied away from exploring the integration of electronics and programming with improvisation and interaction in order to create different, innovative and otherworldly aural landscapes and sounds.
Producer/composer Erik Honoré is one of the creators of this new scene, and his work reflects the interaction that is happening between musicians and genres, not only domestically but worldwide. Together with producer/live sampler Jan Bang, he has produced several acclaimed records, including the recent Uncommon Deities (SamadhiSound, 2012)—a collaboration between British singer/songwriter David Sylvian, whose work Bang and Honré have also remixed in the past; Died in The Wool (SamadhiSound, 2011); and albums by singer Sidsel Endresen and trumpeter Arve Henriksen. Honoré and Bang's attitude towards music ultimately resulted in the well-known and ongoing Punkt live remix festival, in Kristiansand, Norway, which has become one of the world's premiere get-togethers of adventurous improvisers. Alongside these projects and collaborations, Honoré has recently released the beguiling, entrancing and dreamlike Year of the Bullet (Jazzland, 2012), a joint effort with vocalist and spouse Greta Aagre.
All About Jazz: Year of the Bullet has an interesting geographical story to it, as it was written and recorded in various locations outside of your native Norway. Please talk about the creative concept behind this record.
Erik Honoré: The idea was to base it mainly on samples that Greta and I collected while traveling. Like collecting small sonic postcards from various places, and then using those as starting points for songs or, in some cases, as textures added to more traditionally composed songs. The thought was that these fragments would work as inspiring building blocks, and hopefully contribute originality to the soundscapes and even serve as emotional triggers for lyrics.
AAJ: How do you establish continuity or connective tissue throughout the record, when bits and pieces come from so many places?
EH: I think this partly happens because we instinctively search for samples that will work musically in various ways, everything from percussive elements to atmospheres or chords, and instinctively we base our choices on earlier experience of what works. And partly it works because when I edit and electronically treat the samples, I make them blend with whatever else is going on. Obviously, editing is a central part of the process. Sometimes we'll keep only tiny fragments of sounds, not recognizable as what they originally were.
Greta Aagre and Erik Honore—Year of the Bullet 
AAJ: To what does the title refer?
EH: "Years of the Bullet," or "Years of Lead" ("Anni di piombo"), is an Italian expression referring to the seventies, when Italy was plagued by political tension and violence. It's also the title of German director Margarethe von Trotta's movie about this period, and later the expression came to mean "the hard years" in a more general sense. So the title came when we were working on the music in Italy, and in the album context it means simply "the hard year," which is the subject matter of the lyrics.
AAJ: Did you ever think about how the songs would translate live?
EH: Not until we were close to finishing the album, because then the question arose about how to perform the music live. What we chose to do was to take the live process closer to what Jan Bang and I have been doing at the Punkt Festival, the live sampling approach. So I contribute samples, electronics and live sampling of the other musicians, Greta obviously does the vocals, and then we put together a band that we knew would be able to both play songs in a structured manner, and who we could also give open spaces for improvisation. At the Punkt Festival concert we included a soloist, trumpeter Arve Henriksen, who also contributed to the album, and that seemed to work quite well.
AAJ: The press release mentions David Sylvian's contribution at the final stages of this record. What were his contributions here?
EH: David Sylvian is an extremely good listener, who also has helped out on earlier albums, like Arve'sCartography (ECM, 2008), Jan's ... and Poppies from Kandahar (SamadhiSound, 2010). By "a good listener," I mean a person who can comment very clearly on what he hears, and who can pinpoint weaknesses and suggest changes and improvements in a very concrete way. So this was what he did, after first giving Greta and I the confidence to finish the project, something that we really needed at that stage in the process. We needed someone who we respected to say that there was potential, and it had to be someone who wasn't in our immediate family, and who we knew would be honest.
AAJ: You worked with Sylvian closely on his last two records, Died in the Wool, and especially Uncommon Deities. Even prior to this you had the opportunity to work with him on several occasions. How did it evolve into a musical partnership?
EH: First I have to say that I feel immensely privileged that this collaboration has become a reality. Besides Scott Walker, I think David is probably the only musician who I listened to 25 years ago and who is actually doing more interesting work today. Jan and I can thank Nils Petter Molvær for this. It started with David asking Nils if he'd be interested in doing an instrumental version of the track "Mother and Child" for the compilation Camphor (Virgin, 2002). Nils Petter suggested that he could do the remix together with these two guys he knew in Kristiansand, and we did. After that, David returned the favor by contributing spoken word vocals to our album Crime Scenes (Punkt, 2006) and we also got the chance to contribute another remix to his The Good Son vs. The Only Daughter (The Blemish Remixes) (Samadhisound, 2004).
AAJ: Please talk about your involvement on these two records.
EH: Died in the Wool consisted of variations reworked tracks from David's brilliant Manafon (Samadhisound, 2010), plus a couple of new compositions. Here, Jan and I got the chance to contribute more than just remixing one track, and I guess you can say that we were the main "re-makers." together with Japanese contemporary composer Dai Fujikura. And David, of course.
Uncommon Deities (Samadhisound, 2012) was a completely different process. It started by Jan and I commissioning an audio- visual installation from David for the Punkt 2011 festival. As a part of this installation, we invited a group of musicians to improvise in the installation room, and we also commissioned two Norwegian poets, Paal- Helge Haugen and Nils Christian Moe-Repstad, to write texts inspired by the installation concept and its title. Everything that happened in that room was recorded, and David also recorded himself reading the texts in English.
After the festival was over, I sat down with the recordings and some instrumental tracks that Jan and I had been working on for a duo album. Quite soon it seemed that the texts David had recorded worked really well together with the live recordings and the other instrumental tracks. So after making some demos of the material and making sure that David and Jan also saw potential there, we started putting together an entire album. The live contributions from Sidsel Endresen and Arve Henriksen were also very significant, so the album is co-credited them in addition to Jan, me and David. In general, I have to say that I am extremely privileged to be surrounded by these extremely competent and generous musicians.
AAJ: Has Sylvian affected your musical thinking?
EH: Yes, in a very profound way, and from quite an early age. It's no exaggeration to say that Jan and I were extremely inspired by David's three first solo albums when we started working together 25 years ago. At that age, I guess you are searching for something that resonates in you both musically and on a more philosophical level, and I found exactly that in the combination of the words, voice, melodies, arrangements and sonic textures that was to be found on albums like David's Secrets of the Beehive (Virgin, 1987) Also, the combination of composition, improvisation and electronics on those records was, in away, a precursor the evolution on the Norwegian music scene, the "hybrid scene" that we would later be a part of.
AAJ: The Norwegians have emerged as a serious force in the jazz world and electronic music as well, in recent times. Please talk about the music scene in Norway.
Jan Bang and Erik Honore—Uncommon Deities 
EH: Improvised music has been a strong force in Norwegian music since the sixties, when [saxophonist] Jan Garbarek and others gained an international reputation. For a long time jazz and other music forms lived separate lives, but then there was an evolution in the nineties when improvised music met electronic/club music, most visibly through Bugge Wesseltoft's New Conception of Jazz project and Nils Petter Molvær's work. His ECM album, Khmer, was a huge success, for instance. From there on it seemed that everything was allowed, happily, and suddenly there were all these extremely good young musicians appearing, many of whom had a background in improvised music. But their listening habits were eclectic, and the new technology that allowed for improvisation was also a factor.
This openness is still the rule, not the exception, and it's this musical mentality Jan and I have built the Punkt Festival concept on. The latest addition to the Norwegian music scene is a number of vocal-based artists, for some reason mainly female, who have combined all these elements to make interesting music. Hanne Hukkelberg is one example. But this especially owes much to Sidsel Endresen's development of the voice as an instrument for more than singing in the traditional sense, so there is a historical line also here.
AAJ: You have been closely associated with Jan Bang through the years. What has your relationship of friendship and work with Bang been like?
EH: We're like an old married couple now, I guess. And it is by far the most important musical relationship I have had. We've developed this way of collaborating, first in the studio and later live, where we can work very intuitively with our various tools, and feed off each others' ideas. When we started it was more like a "synth duo," Jan was the vocalist, I wrote the lyrics and recorded what we did on multi-track cassette machines, and we both played synthesizers and wrote songs. But after we got mixed up with the improv people, we developed other ways of working. Jan was first; he collaborated with Bugge Wesseltoft and Nils Petter Molvær from a very early stage, performing as an improvising live sampler. But I am slowly catching up.
AAJ: How did you come up with the idea of making a festival such as Punkt? Please talk about the festival's concept and how it developed through the years.
EH: Jan and I sat at a café and talked about how we could combine two valuable elements that we knew we had at our disposal: our extensive network of musicians; and our way of working with live sampling/live electronics. So we drew a "family tree" on a napkin, and immediately saw that this musician network was pure gold. Through our Norwegian contacts, musicians that we had worked with either in the studio or live, we could reach most of the artists we wanted to invite if the aim was to create some kind of musical event where the formation of new constellations of musicians and creating new music was the main goal.
At the center of this family tree we had us, and the city of Kristiansand. So we marked this point (punkt) as the center. The venue would have to be the Agder Theatre, which had two stages: One main stage for normal concerts and a second stage well suited to become a "live remix laboratory," where other musicians would sample from and remix the concerts. This we wanted to happen immediately, so that the audience could go there and hear a reinterpretation of the concert they just heard.
This was in 2000, and after that it took us five years to find financing; we needed it to be a high end project technically. But the basic structure was already there, on that napkin.
The first year, in 2005, we had [trumpeter] Jon Hassell as headliner due to his contact with Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset, and from then on the project grew in an organic way. As I mentioned earlier, Molvær had connected us with Sylvian. [Bassist] John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin fame, came to a Punkt event in London and then to Punkt in Kristiansand, the following year he met and played with Supersilent. They still perform together. Jon Hassell and musician/visual artist Russell Mills put us in contact with Brian Eno, who curated the 2012 edition. So almost everything is organized artist-to-artist, a fact that makes it much easier to experiment with new projects and collaborations.
AAJ: What did Eno bring to the festival and how did it fit in with the festival's original design, concept and intentions?
EH: Obviously, Eno is the godfather of many of the genres involved in Punkt, and of the idea of bringing these genres together and working with them with studio tools, or now with technology that earlier was only available in studios. Eno and David Byrne's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (Sire, 1981) and Eno's work with Jon Hassell are only two examples, there are many others. We first had Eno visit Punkt with his audio-visual installation 77 Milllion Paintings in 2008, and afterwards we asked if he would be interested in curating a whole edition of the festival. He accepted, to our surprise, and this year he brought a number of artists that he personally finds most interesting today. Mainly new or younger artists over a broad genre spectrum, from electronic experimentalists like Ben Frost to pop artist Owen Pallett to improvised standup comedian/musician Reggie Watts.
This experience was very interesting to us, also the aspect of totally letting go of control over the festival program. But we will probably return to curating ourselves next year, at least most of the festival, as this is what we enjoy most. After all, Punkt is an ongoing artistic project to Jan and I, more than a traditional festival.
AAJ: What are some of the most memorable concerts that have happened at Punkt?
EH: On a personal level, I must admit that the highlights have been to perform together with some of the musicians I respect most, like David Sylvian, Jon Hassell, [guitarist] Christian Fennesz, and, of course, Sidsel Endresen, Nils Petter Molvær and Arve Henriksen, to name a few. Also because many of these performances have been starting points for further collaboration, recordings and live work. But if you ask our loyal and very knowledgeable audience, they may give you other answers.
AAJ: It seems that the festival has begun travelling around the globe to other locations beyond the mothership festival in Kristiansand.
EH: Yes, we have taken Punkt to London, several cities in Germany, as well as Paris, Barcelona and Tallinn. In these cases, we bring the whole concept and Norwegian musicians, and collaborate with local artists.
AAJ: How have all these experiences influenced your musical thinking and evolution?
EH: The whole Punkt experience has been a very exciting ride, and most importantly it has forced me out of my comfort zone, something that has been very valuable. I am definitely more comfortable in the studio, sitting alone or with Jan and being in control of a small universe that I know, and that responds like I expect it to. But the fact that Punkt and the live remix concept is based on improvisation has taught me a lot. This is knowledge that I then can bring back into the studio environment, or make use of when composing music.

Selected Discography
Greta Aagre/ Erik Honoré, Year of the Bullet (Jazzland, 2012)
Jan Bang/Erik Honoré, Uncommon Deities (SamadhiSound, 2012)
David Sylvian, Died in the Wool: Manafon Variations (SamadhiSound, 2011)
Sidsel Endresen/Jon Hassell, Punkt: Live Remixes Vol. 1 (Jazzland, 2008)
Various Artists, Crime Scenes (Punkt, 2006)

Nema komentara:

Objavi komentar