Norway - Full Moon 220 - 08/10/14
Jenny Hval & Susanna
Meshes of Voice
"What happens if you bring together two of Norway's most special voices, both in terms of songwriting, performance and presence in music? How will it work to merge two creative worlds into one beast?" (SusannaSonata)
Jenny Hval and Susanna Wallumrød are two of Norway's strongest and finest - and spectacular - voices in modern music, and so, these two ladies wanted to dive in and see what they could explore together, in their own secret ponds of creativity, performed along with experiemental musicians Anita Kaasbøll (voice, effects, noice, drums) and Jo Berger Myhre (double bass, zither, effects, noise). Meshes of Voice was recorded at Henie Onstad Arts Centre by David Solheim, and was mixed and mastered by Susanna's spouse, Helge Sten (AKA Deathprod) at his Audio Virus Lab. Meshes of Voice for sure is a fitting title, with the voices of Jenny and Susanna, backed with the one of Anita's - with full, wonderful fuzz-treatment. It's a spectacular, stereophonic voice performance. Some sort of a wood nymph symphony. Spellbinding. Magnificent.
Meshes of Voice was the product of a collaboration between the two ladies with the distinctive voices commissioned for Ladyfest, and the opus was performed on March 8th 2009. According to the two, it is 'a kind of modern-day, surrealistic fable that deals with lust, fear, wondering, and mythical creatures'. Nothing less. And, yes, in September (on the 12th), Hval and Wallumrød will perform their new version of this piece in the Jakob Church of Culture during Ultima (the contemporary music festival) in Oslo. When this collaboration started, Wallumrød's idea, thought or question was: "It felt like an adventure to open the door to Jenny's universe -- to invite her into my space, and to be a part of hers."
The compositions were inspired the surreal architecture of Antoni Gaudí and American avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren's experimental film Meshes of the Afternoon (1943). "We meet lust and fear and pondering, milk running down the bones, apples dreaming, and calling of divinities for the truth." (Wallumrød). The pair explored and challenged the contrasts in material, and they tested both dynamics, the sparse versus more violent, loud sounding soundscapes and a musical landscape. Their instrumental equipment included grand piano, guitars, electric harmonium, autoharp, samples, noise, effects and electronics, percussion mixed with a mesh of voices. Layers upon layers with voices and sound. And noise. The result is stunning, amazing, groundbreaking, fascinating, and a bit scaring as well. I dare you to check it out. Dare to be surprised.
Meshes of Voice will be released on August 15th.
Copyright © 2014 Håvard Oppøyen