UK made documentary about Icemusicfestival on Foxtel - Dec 10 & 12.
"Norwegian percussionist Terje Isungset with his team of dedicated musicians and sculptures called the 'Ice Team', builds and play instruments made entirely of ice at the Ice Music Festival in Norway, the only festival of its kind".
Så vidt jeg vet er det første gang de to går i studio sammen for å lage noe som duo. Mesteparten er gjort i Lærdal Lydstudio den 14. desember i 2014, mens Pettersen har lagt på noe man følte manglet, senere i The Village Studio i København, hos Thomas Vang, den 11. mai i år.
Vi får ti låter eller strekk, hvor det er lett å ty til flosklene om den norske jazzen, om at den minner om fjell og fjord, snø og vidde, og alt som har med norsk naturen å gjøre.
Alle ti strekkene er relativt løse i «snippen». Isungset har lagt ut en del rytmiske og melodiske strekk, som Pettersen har hengt seg på, utfylt og gjort fullverdige.
Og det har unektelig vært en suksess. Pettersens vokal er som ei budeie som lokker på kyrne, særlig i andresporet «Aerial», under Isungsets rytmiske og drivende perkusjon. I tredjesporet, «Oase», får vi Pettersens vokal som en stilleflytende bekk om våren, sammen med enkel og raffinert elektronikk over Isungsets enorme stortrommelyd og smakfulle steinperkusjon.
Og slik fortsetter det. Steinperkusjonen slik Isungset gjør det er det, så vidt jeg vet, bare han som gjør i hele verden. Og det låter originalt og fint hele veien. Og perfekt til nesten hvilken som helst, norsk naturfilm som vil bli laget framover.
Mange trekker gjerne sammenligninger til naturen i Jan Garbareks musikk. Hos Pettersen og Isungset får vi den norske naturen rett inn i stua på en helt annen måte. I femtesporet, «Jorden», synes jeg vi kan merke det spesielt. Med Pettersens ordløse sang, som ligger tett på den norske folkemusikken, og Isungsets løse perkusjonsspill.
I det hele tatt er dette blitt en nesten usigelig vakker plate, hvor Isungsets originale perkusjon koblet opp til Pettersens fine sang, fløytespill og elektronikk, skaper en trolsk og vakker stemning, som på mange måter kan inngå som en del av den nye, norske folkemusikken. Strålende!
New album: Terje Isungset & Sissel Vera Pettersen, “OASE”
It might be improvised, it might be melodic or abstract structures - it might be wild and powerful or even very silent and beautiful.
The music of the album “Oase” is something by its own, and it doesn´t fit into any specific style. Sometimes inspired by nature - wild, strong, fragile, wet, dry, cold or warm - or sometimes inspired by everyday life in general.
This recording beautifully captures the first duo encounter between two kindred musical spirits. An intuitive conversation between two significant improvisers who share a subtle discipline that results in a focused and cohesive whole. Terje Isungset and Sissel Vera Pettersen have previously collaborated in larger constellations, and through those grew a strong wish to explore common sonorities in duo format. They both draw on inspiration from nature and a wide range of musical cultures, and they both move in musical landscapes where resonance, timbre, space and texture are essential points of navigation. Wordless vocals, live electronic processing, and the use of instruments hand crafted from arctic birch, granite, slate and rams horn, results in a genre-defying album, and soundscapes much different than what you would expect from a duo of voice and drums.
Terje Isungset is counted as one of Europe's most acclaimed and innovative percussionist. For over two decades, he has experimented and challenged the limits of jazz and Scandinavian traditional music.
Crafting his own instruments from Norwegian natural elements such as arctic birch, granite, slate, sheep bells and even ice, he is highly recommended to those sensible to the poetry and simplicity of sounds. “Timbres” and “colours” are central in Terje Isungsets music and compositions.
In the press, his work has often been described as innovative, visual, energetic, and different from any previously known concepts. Isungset has also been commissioned to compose music for Jazz Festivals, Dance Performances, Theatre, Film, etc. (40 commissed concerts) His composition efforts have also brought nine critically acclaimed solo CD`s. In the book Percussion Profiles Isungset was given a thorough presentation. “Interviews-articles and discographies of 25 of the worlds most creative percussionists”. He has been given the Norwegian awards Jazz musician of the year and composer of the year.
Sissel Vera Pettersen is widely renowned for her extended and experimental vocal techniques, often paired with a highly creative use of live electronics. She has collaborated with artists such as John Hollenbeck, Chick Corea, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Jon Balke, Theo Bleckmann, Marc Ducret, and Lionel Loueke, and has toured extensively all over Europe, in USA and Africa. Pettersen is the artistic leader of the vocal ensemble Trondheim Voices.
Selected press quotes:
“Her voice a transparent gossamer of silk.” ”Hers is an instrument that can scape sound and syllable, making it the messenger of every articulation whether it is a whisper, an ululation or a prance on the edge of a scream”
-All about Jazz (USA)
"Capable of producing sustained lines of the utmost purity, wild ululations and the occasional melodic line that simply disappears off the treble clef, Pettersen's voice is an instrument of extraordinary flexibility. ...one of those powerful emotional jolts that really stirs the soul." -The Arts Desk (UK)
“In live perfomances one is struck by the flow of Sissels improvisations.
The sounds and tones just seem to pour out of her, each more daring than the next.
She makes screams, squeeks and noises dance over rythmic patterns as pirouettes on ice, while stretching time to it´s very limit.”
Swedish magazine Lira arrived today with a review:
"Groupa is and remains a unique phenomenon, and Kind of Folk meet my very high expectations for this brilliant band. One of the year's best and most wayward albums!"
"Groupa är och förblir ett unikum, och Kind of Folk uppfyller mina synnerligen höga förväntningar på detta briljanta band. En av årets bästa och mest egensinniga skivor!"
"The result of these three masters coming together is a magical musical geography that uses the natural timbres of wood and stone to amplify a kind of organic sound as rooted in Sweden’s past as in its future. Their last album, Silent Folk, was a masterpiece, and the new album, due out later this month, promises to be an interesting fusion of ancient tradition and modern sensibilities".
MDR Kultur: "Groupa" - das sind Urgestein der Szene, aus dem starken Revival der alten Musik in Schweden ist dort längst neue Tradition geworden. "Groupa" als Trio ragt heraus, es klingt so minimalistisch, introspektiv wie nie zuvor und und geht innovativ mit dem alten Rohmaterial um. Nicht ohne Selbstironie nannten die Musiker aus Schweden mit einem Gast aus Norwegen ihr neues Album: "Kind of folk" - eine Art Volksmusik. Man sieht vereiste Fjorde und frisch gefallenen Schnee beim Hören.
".. dette er strålende musikk fra det «höga» nord, som bude være en hit på samtlige jazz- og folkemusikkfestivaler fra Italia og Spania i sør til Svalbard i nord. Strålende!"
The ever popular Bill Covitz show. Joining us from Connecticut in the USA, master ice sculptor Bill will perform his ice carving magic. What surprise theme will he work on in 2017?
Terje Isungset & Maria Skranes will perform Icemusic whilst Bill shows the tricks of his trade.
Performing wintery songs from Finland's heartland, Minna Raskinen & Anita Lehtola-Tollin return with the ice instrument of the year - the Icekantele and lush vocals.
21.00 *Ice Music Party*
Fieh, a fantastic upcoming singer with her ice band - Iceofon, Icebass, Icedrums and singers will channel the spirit of Erykah Badu & D'Angelo with R&B, hip-hop and jazz with tight and elegant beats.
Put on your slippery dancing shoes!
24.00 *Full Moon Concert*
We are lucky to have the Full Moon himself around midnight. Magic light & Magic mood.
The music will be a mix of the duo Arvvas with their music from Lapland, icey sounds from Poland and Terje Isungset's Icemusic.
Sara Marielle Gaup Beska (joik), Steinar Raknes (ice bass) Grzech Piotrowski - Icesaxophone, Maria Skranes (voice) and Terje Isungset (ice).
Lookout for the Full Moon and bring your warm clothes!
12.00 *Winter Songs*
Terje Isungset invented icemusic and has performed ice concerts since around the world since 2000. During recent years he has also pioneered how to perform Icemusic indoors. This is quite exceptional.
Together with Norwegian singer Maria Skranes, they will present the music from their successful tours. the indoor concert will be Geilo's iconic and architectural wonder - Kulturkyrkje. No warm clothes needed.
Just finished two great weeks in my summerhouse composing new music - commissioned to be performed at a festival in 2017.
Have also had some trips to the mountains, recording sounds from the water.
Photo from a video session last week.
A performance with Frikar dance company late August - out in nature.
As some of you might do know, my ice instrument freezer storage at Geilo had a melt down mid August.
These are the leftovers..
The GSM alarm did work, but I was without any reception in North Korea at that time - so the melting could complete.
Now we do look forward to new instruments and new sounds.
The audience at the Førde Festival in July was the last one to listen to the old ice instruments.
Luckily that concert was recorded by the Norwegian Broadcast Company (NRK).
Broadcast late autumn 2016.
Review of our concert at the Førde festival in UK based magazine: Songlines.
"The most memorable performance was the premiere of Arctic Ice Music, by
the world’s only ‘ice musician,’ Terje Isungset. He literally plays
trumpets, xylophone, chimes and drums
made out of ice. But however extraordinary and beautiful that is, there
are limitations to what ice can do. So here he was working with Sami and
Inuit singers from the Arctic plus Tuvan throat singer Radik Tyulyush,
which brought in an awesome sonic landscape, created in just three
days".... "The various layers, textures and otherworldly sounds
seemed like listening to an aural equivalent of the Northern Lights.
Glorious, beautiful, but elusive. It is something that deserves to be
seen around the world because it’s not only inspirational music, but
there’s a powerful message in there as well"
A unique meeting with the ice people and their music. Together with Inuit musicians Beatrice Deer & Evie Mark from Canada, Radik Tyulyush from Tuva, and with Sami Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska and Maria Skranes, Terje Isungset, the world’s only ice musician, explores the music of indigenous groups living amongst ice, snow and cold. The goal is to create a new universe, in which the music from the ice instruments literally melts together with the voices and tones from Jew’s harp, igil, byzaanchi and shoor.