American-Norwegian guitarist-singer-songwriter-producer Ed Pettersen always wanted to play at the Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum in Oslo and enjoy the magnificent reverb of this space. In August 2019 his dream came true and in one night he recorded there his 8 string lap steel guitar, going through many effects and manipulations. He summarised this experience: «lap steel played with a vibrator in someone’s grave…black metal x 1000».
Pettersen is not the first musician who enjoyed this unique space. To name a few: Maja Ratkje recorded there «Voice» (Rune Grammofon, 2002); guitarist Stian Westerhus recorded «The Matriarch and the Wrong Kind of Flowers» (Rune Grammofon, 2012); The Huntsville trio recorded «Past Increasing, Future Receding» (Hubro Music, 2013); double bass player Christian Meaas Svendsen recorded half «Forms & Poses» (Nakama, 2016); and cellist Okkyung Lee recorded «Dahl-Tah-Ghi» (Pica Disc, 2018).
«Vigeland» offers eight ambient drones that make full use of Petterson experience as a resourceful producer and improviser. The atmospheric sound of Pettersen’s lap steel guitar fills the reverberating space of the mausoleum and the carefully-selected effects magnify this highly resonating experience and charge it with layered, textured orchestrations. Pettersen did not edit or add overdubs to the original recording, just edited the recording into eight parts that suggest an ethereal yet dense narrative. This narrative begins with subtle, gentle, and psychedelic drones but slowly changes course and aims into darker, more dramatic, and thornier soundscapes and eventually reaches a climactic eruption with the title-piece, an arresting homage to the prophetic genius of August Emanuel Vigeland and his magnum opus, the mausoleum.
Listen to «Vigeland» at night, with no lights, and loud as possible.
Ed Pettersen-(8 string lap steel g)