The live performance of Heliographs is really different to the recorded version. Molvær's lyrical lines offer a late-in-the-night feel, while Zach's twisted percussions and Aarset's whole range of textures also throw back again the improvisational process that was an integral part of the construction of the sound in the originals. It is perfectly executed throughout and gives new life to this ever-lasting music.
Now that Emilie has got a few more concerts under her belt since the early part of the year, the songs have expanded and evolved to show increasing variations musically and highlighting her full power and range vocally.
During the hours just after the concert, I thought I would never be able to find words to describe the power of the experience and the music played that night. But then I felt I had to leave a trace before everyone (including myself) would forget about it. And give an insight of what might come, sooner or later, from the hands of These New Puritans.
I consider that everyone should experience – even if just once in their lives – the unique experience of Sidsel and Jan. They obviously work well together – immediate and in a “jazz” environment. It is a pleasure to experience and participate in their communication.
There really is no other vocalist like Sidsel. Before each piece she sits on her chair and in a trance like state, concentrates and psyches herself up. The vocals are almost like conversations with herself, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes like she is trying to explain something to you but can`t quite get it across, forever deep in thought.
Arve`s trumpet and vocals were beautiful and Fennesz`s sonics were more mellow than usual which really worked well. The second piece of music started with some manic trumpet, almost `flight of the bumble bee` pace which then introduced drums and a pulsating rhythm which was a neat treat as both usually perform more linear type music.
On the fourth day of the Festival, Marilyn Mazur’s Sprit Cave played the South Bank's Purcell Room. Going for a seat in the centre of the front row was a big mistake, one that could be likened to getting a bad place at Wimbledon. There was so much going on from both sides of the room it was hard to keep up!
The two concerts offered great moments and the two rooms' great settings to experiment with the music they welcomed. Time might help resurface bits of the music from these nights, here or there, to decide if their evanescence could go through the doors of the concert hall, to live outside, in its audience's minds. Both already did that for me.
Come Shine are certainly a band to catch live, as they subtly vary their arrangements (as all good improvisers should) from those they commit to vinyl, as well as adding songs that have not – as yet – been recorded by them. From the pensive to the frenetic, they cover all ground with masterful ease.
The encore took the mood down again to a quiet melancholy with "Unter" from "Felt", and "Tristana" and "Ambre" from "Wintermusik" (Erased Tapes, 2009).
Despite the logistics problems Frahm faced when arriving in Bergen, he pulled off a concert of great beauty and lyricism in front of a very pleased audience. Frahm has created a niche for himself where he is more or less alone at the moment, and where he eagerly explores different possibilities within the self-imposed boundaries of his concept. He certainly is one to follow closely in the future to see where his next projects take him.
The tunes are groovy - and the members are very focussed when they need to be, but have a lot of smiles on hand. I really felt that I had been welcomed into a warm, inclusive party that would never end.
The only regret I have is that the concert did not last twice as long.
With the music ranging from very beautiful church music to more powerful and happy folk music where the members couldn't help but smile, the concert was a sublime experience. Should the choir come your way, make sure you don't miss them, because you simply don't get many opportunities to experience something like this!
The two artists managed to strike a fine balance between the danceable and the ambient textures, giving a packed room of younger people what they came for on a Saturday night, either they were dancing or just hanging out, taking in the music.
Saturday, 21:45, the main event floor for the EKKO festival.
The sound was deep, 10 metric ton heavy, DOM-DAH-DOM-DOM-DAH, with guitar doing WHAAAAN-WHAAAANNNN-WHAN-WHAN-WHAN, synth going WHEEHWHIWHHWIIWWEEEWIWIWEEEEWHWWWWW-BLLLEEEEEEP! Then sprinkle on some heavy Saxophone wizardry ... you get the idea.
Wow! And! WOW! And another! WOW! My mind was shattered!
Despite the shortcomings, the performance was never anything other than interesting at the very least. It may have wrestled somewhat with a text that would make powerful demands upon any musician attempting to interpret it, but for those who weathered it through, there were certainly rewards of a musical, if not interpretive nature, to be gained.