The closing day of Oslo’s Øya festival in early August marked the release of composer, arranger and Jaga Jazzist/National Bank member Lars Horntvedt’s new Smalltown Supersound release ‘Kaleidoscopic’. Weary festival goers were treated to a smooth start of the festival’s last day, as Horntvedt performed lush melodic instrumentals backed by the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. Fusing complex rhythmic patterns with his strong sense of melody as well as unorthodox orchestration, Horntvedt has managed to carve out a niche of his own, creating music that straddles the divides between contemporary classical, electronica and pop.
During last year’s festival Horntveth was in the crowd when Thomas Dybdahl, his colleague from The National Bank, was on stage with the Radio Orchestra. But the arrangements were his.
-That concert worked well. I’ve been working extensively with KORK over the previous years said Horntveth in a MIC interview earlier this year.
Kaleidoscopic was recorded in Riga, Latvia, around the time of last year’s Øya festival. And one year later it is his turn to enter the stage in Oslo’s medieval park with the orchestra. The Øya performance consisted of one long composition; the 38 minute piece that makes up the new album in its entirety.
Horntveth describes the music as a continuation of his previous album Pooka.
-I think people will recognize elements from the last track on Pooka, which is the quietest track on that album, and also from Jaga Jazzist. It is that kind of musical landscape that I’ve worked within, but this time in a more symphonic form, says Horntveth.
-It became a kind of expanded sinfonietta, with 35 strings, two percussionists, a harp and three horns. The price for doing the same thing in Norway would have been four times of what we paid, says Horntveth.
-It was a kind of dogma-project (i.e. with strict limitations), and I decided that it should become one long listening experience –a record one sits down and listens through in its entirety. The challenge was to find the right balance regarding the length of each part, so that the result would be neither too intense nor too calm.
‘Kaleidoscopic’ is out on Smalltown Supersound in November. sd
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