onsdag 23. november 2011

Kåre Kolberg: Omgivelser & Portando CD

Kåre Kolberg (b.1936) is one of Norway’s foremost contemporary composers and is regarded as one of the pioneers of early electronic music and multi-disciplinarity art in Scandinavia. He has composed music for film, theatre and chamber orchestras to jazz acts such as Svein Finnerud Trio and Jan Garbarek.
Kolberg’s Omgivelser (Surroundings) was a commissioned piece made for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) in 1970. It was made as a soundtrack for a short TV-film of the same name that was made by director Jan Horne. The idea was to melt abstract film impressions that showcased different sides of the environmental debate of the 1970s, together with experimental electronic music in order to create a singular expression. Kolberg travelled to the famous Studio Eksperymentalne in Warsaw, run by Jósef Patowski, to record the music. Together with sound engineer Bohdan Mazurek Kolberg crafted the piece using the studio’s vast sound archives and two pre-recorded tapes that he had brought from Norway. One tape consisted of different sound recordings Kolberg had made with experimental jazz singer Karin Krog and the other contained different field recordings by Kolberg, including a Norwegian nursery rhymes sung by Kolberg’s eldest son. In the studio they processed this material with ring modulators and filters, and added different modified instruments created by an engineer at the studio. The piece was recorded using what were at the time the Rolls Royce of tape machines: two Telefunken Magnetophon M10s. The piece was originally broadcast to Norwegian homes in 1970. Since the standard TV-volume levels are set so low, the dynamic range of Kolberg’s music was not optimal. Kolberg kept the original master tape and over the years Omgivelser was presented several times at different electronic music concerts.

Portando, (meaning to transport or carry in Italian) was a commissioned piece for the Henie Onstad Art Centre in 1987. The centre’s music coordinator at that time, Åse Hedstrøm asked Kolberg to write the piece especially for the art centre. Kolberg worked together with the studio founder and sound-engineer Mats Claesson using Norway’s first micro-processors and Mac based Studio Technology. The piece is written for electronic tapes and two live percussionists, which were played by Bjørn Rabben and Einar Fjævoll.

The CD release of Omgivelser & Portando is an important addition to the history of Norwegian electronic music, and should be of great interest to fans of Arne Nordheim and Kåre Kolberg.

Available on CD and iTunes from November 2011.

Rolf Aamot: Tonal Image Films 1968-1991 CD

Rolf Aamot (b.1934) is a Norwegian electronic painter, graphic artist, film director and tonal image composer. Since the early 60s he has worked with the relationship between image and sound and he is regarded as one of the pioneers of audio-visual art in Scandinavia. Aamot has collaborated with artists and composers such as Bjørg Lødøen, Arne Nordheim and Bjørn Fongaard and his work Evolution, made together with Nordheim in 1966 was the the first time the television was used as a creative medium in Norway. In the 70s and 80s Aamot continued this work in electronic and digital paintings.

Tonal Image Films 1968-1991 documents for the first time Rolf Aamots and Bjørg Lødøen’s tonal images, the audio part to the tonal image films he directed between 1968 and 1991. The music consists of abstract sounds and movements from different electronic sources, interacting with pre-recorded and prepared acoustic instruments and human voices. Prisma Records is proud to present the previously unreleased but highly original music of Rolf Aamot for the first time.

Available on CD and iTunes from November 2011.

Masselys: Jimmy Polars - Live at the Henie Onstad Art Centre CD

This release documents the music Masselys made for the commisioned audio-visual piece, Jimmy Polaris, by visual artist Christopher Nielsen, animator Matt Willis-Jones and Masselys.

Nielsen and Willis-Jones worked together on Norway’s most expensive animation film; Slipp Jimmy Fri from 2006. For Jimmy Polaris they used early raw animation snippets from the film’s preproduction phase. Nielsen and Willis-Jones then real-time manipulated these sketches into a psychedelic visual overload, which Masselys then provided the soundtrack to. Jimmy Polaris premiered at the Henie Onstad Art Centre the 8th of May 2011 to a sold out venue.

Masselys consists of Bjarne Larsen, John Birger Wormdahl, Jonas Hestvik Dahl and Kjell-Olav Jørgensen. Together they produce a melting pot of mutant disco, electronica, funk and krautrock. Jimmy Polaris consists of seven new tracks.

For the show at Henie Onstad Art Centre Christopher Nielsen wrote: ”Welcome to a consciousness expanding seance, where it is highly possible to see the light."

Available on CD and iTunes from November 2011.

MUSKAP: Upright at the End of Lippedstad CD

Muskap was formed in 1975 by the composers and musicians Jean-Francois Doucet, Jon Christophersen, Harold Clark and Anthony Barnett. The quartet was inspired by Karlheinz Stockhausen’s concepts about Intuitive Musik and contemprorary ideas in music regarding improvisation and open aesthetics. This resulted in a sound that draws resemblance to free jazz as well as chamber music. Muskap is an example of early improvised music in Norway.

The quartet rehearsed and performed regularly at the Henie Onstad Art Centre, located at Høvikodden outside of Oslo, where the band member Harold Clark was the leader for NSEM (Norwegian Studio for Electronic Music). The material on Upright at the End of Lippestad (Both Ways) was recorded in NSEM in 1976 and uses the studio’s legendary Buchla-synthesizers.
Upright at the End of Lippesta (Both Ways) was originally scheduled for a release on the Norwegian record label Compendium Records in 1976, but since the label folded the same year the record never came out. The mastertapes was then stored in the archives for 35 years until they’re now finally released in a newly mastered version with liner notes by Olav Anton Thommessen.
Prisma Records is proud to present this entrancing and original band for the first time to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the recordings.

Available on CD and iTunes from November 2011.