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På skive

GAHLMM

«Break a Leg»
GEIGER GRAMMOFON, GGCD12

GAHLMM – and not GOLLUM or GOLEM – is an ensemble of six Swedish musicians who engage in different categories of experimental music: free improvisation scored music and electronic sound art, and want to present challenging, contemporary music that corresponds with their background. This sextet began working in 2018 and features violinist George Kentros, electronics player Mattias Petersson, cellist My Hellgren, flutist Anna Svensdotter, pianist Lisa Ullén and percussionist Henrik Olsson. The debut album of this ensemble was recorded at Elementstudion in Göteborg in December 2021.

This ensemble aims at exploring a broader and often kaleidoscopic, challenging program of contemporary music, with changing formats, while employing all their musical and technical resources, from acoustic instruments to Buchlas, turntables and magical percussion. The ensemble evades exquisite or delicate practice of timbre, enthralling space, or the academic take on acoustic mindfulness, but exploits all its respective instruments’ physical, and sonic possibilities. Often, GAHLMM brings its music down to the wreck, to the prehistoric swamps of sound, while sharing the sonic beauty of collapse and circumstance.

The first work played by this ensemble was Dror Feiler’s stormy and noisy «Halat al tawari (2018-19)» (State of Emergency. حالة الطوارئ – מצב חרום). So the choice of Swedish composer Tony Blomdahl’s commissioned, short, three-part «Measurings (2020)», for the whole ensemble was logical. This composition juggles with odd meters, unsettling industrial sounds and disturbing and apocalyptic cinematic images. Ullén and Olsson duo piece «Friktion (2021)» for prepared piano and semi-motor-powered percussive sounds offers an entirely different atmosphere, fragile and reserved, quiet and contemplative with a cinematic-poetic rhythmic conception.

Estonian, Gotland-based composer Mirjam Tally’s beautiful and suggestive «Luminescent Seas (2017)» is performed by flutist Svensdotter and cellist Hellgren and described as a medicine for melancholy, and is spiced with exotic and sensual sounds. The following «unRaveled (there are no more four seasons) (2010)» for the duo of electronics player Petersson and violinist Kentros is described as baroque music on steroids with failed remembrances of composer-violinist Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (this duo recorded this composition before under the name ReBiber), and sounds like a dance or gym-like variation of Philip Glass school of minimalism. The last, title piece from 2020 by the Berlin-via-Denmark Vinyl -terror & -horror duo of the turntable iconoclasm of Greta Christensen and Camilla Sørensen is performed by the whole ensemble. This piece transforms the duo’s eclectic and broken turntablism art into sublime, chamber composition with many surprising twists that are faithful to the original sonic terror of Vinyl -terror & -horror.

Indeed, not GOLLUM or GOLEM, but quite a sonic beast.

Eyal Hareuveni

George Kentros (vio), Mattias Petersson (elec), My Hellgren (c), Anna Svensdotter (fl), Lisa Ullén (p), Henrik Olsson (perc, friction, piezo elements) 

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