Norwegian pianist-composer Christian Wallumrød sophomore solo piano and electronics album «Speaksome» dives even further into his timeless and intimate musical universes than his debut solo album «Pianokammer» (Hubro, 2014). The new album was recorded between January to June 2021 at Wallumrød’s home, asamisimasa’s studio and Hallibakken Lydstudio, with the assistance of sax player Espen Reinertsen, who plays in Wallumrød’s Ensemble.
Guitarist-banjoist Ivar Grydeland, who wrote the liner notes and plays with Wallumrød in the Dans Les Arbers quartet, defines Wallumrød’s unique touch on the piano as carrying both the history of the instrument but always looks for the future, «peculiar and surprising, but still somewhat self-evident, melodic twists. Not to mention the far above average well-weighted ornaments».
Grydeland is absolutely right. The seven pieces suggest elusive soundscapes that navigate gently between subtle sonic searches, surprising mutations and spontaneous melodic twists. These nuanced and often mysterious and dramatic pieces echo classical and contemporary music as well as the legacy of Afro-American and Nordic jazz and distinct electronic environments, but all refuse to settle in familiar forms or narratives. No wonder that Grydeland felt during listening to «Speaksome» as if was traveling through Berlin, Laurel Canyon, Mississippi, Hallingdal, Leipzig and Vienna. A bluesy theme may be shaped as an abstract soundscape, layered with a quiet electronic drone, and an innocent folky Nordic melody may collide with the cerebral dictates of the Second Viennese School.
And as Grydeland, concludes, «Speaksome» offers unmistakable Wallumrød’s idiosyncratic and rich musical vision. You can hear the strings breathing, and the electronics breezing.
Christian Wallumrød (p, synth, autoharp, dr machine