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På skive


«Possibly in time»

Norwegian vocal artist Eldbjørg Raknes is known for her restless searches to expand her musical aesthetics. Her solo vocal improvisations are bold and inventive, she experiments with live sampling and electronics soundscapes and her adaptations of  poetic texts are highly original. On «Possibly in Time», her 27th album, she, again, treads on a new musical terrain. For the first time she acts also as a lyricist, enjoying the generous advice of fellow vocal artist Sidsel Endresen.

Raknes leads a quartet of colleagues from the acclaimed jazz department of NTNU in Trondheim – young Swedish pianist Oscar Grönberg, who collaborated with her on her previous album, «You Make Me Feel» (My Recordings, 2014); vocalist Kirsti Huke and guitarist Nils-Olav Johansen. «Possibly in Time» documents the debut performance of this quartet at the local Dokkhuset club on November 2015 and the first time that its songs were presented before an audience.

Raknes songs are still based in a loose, experimental narratives, where there is enough space and freedom for all musicians to sculpt suggestive sonic soundscapes, and the live recording deepens this urgent approach. The original songs portray Raknes as navigating through turbulent emotional waters – literally, as her lyrics often carry images of sea and water. Fearlessly, with an evocative yet reserved delivery, she sketches her coming to terms with a wounded relationships and burdensome, existential doubts. The quartet patiently colors these concise poetic themes in a fragile, sparse interplay that stresses the stormy emotional climate and the immediate and moving impact of Raknes vocals, echoed in Huke singing.

Raknes moves in these songs from the dark vision of: «we all have to fall and fall and fall and fall» in «It Is Unfair» to the imminent doubts summarized in «words fall short / life is» in the claustrophobic-sounding «Define (impromptu)». Between these unsettling images she finds some rays of hope.  She and Huke recite majestically: «but i can see the rainbow/ and i can feel the sun glow / and i can take the rain flowing / into my car» in «(Driving home in my own) Cabriolet». Later Raknes gains more confident and declares: «i’m not good / i’m super duper» in «Prelude to noise» and concludes with an independent and opinionated declaration: «i admit i do not fit / in your rooms / but i delacre: / i’m still here» in the humorous and compassionate «My elephant moves».

Eyal Hareuveni

Eldbjørg Raknes (v, live sampling, elec, Wurlitzer p, perc), Kirsti Huke (v, live sampling, elec, perc), Nils-Olav Johansen (six-string bg, v, live sampling, elec.)

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