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På skive



Ediacara is the third solo album by Norwegian experimental trumpeter by Hilde Marie Holsen and it offers contemplative and a highly immersive, three-movement suite, titled after a geological epoch from up to half a billion years ago. Holsen composed, performed – with electronics – and produced this suite, and was assisted by guitarist Stian Westerhus who did the mixing and sound artist Helge Sten who did the mastering.

Holsen transforms her trumpet into a sound generator of breath and brass, and with clever and resourceful usage of electronics and sampling, she produces an expressive array of acoustic and electronically processed sounds. The enhanced trumpet may sound like a glass harmonica’s drone, the wash of strings, a sepulchral chorale, or the skittering, snuffling rhythms of a truffle-hunting pig with enough room for mysterious noises. None of these enigmatic sounds were pre-recorded and she did not add overdubs after the live improvisation.

Still, Holsen knows how to weave the trumpet’s full repertoire of pure-toned and long-held notes or potential noises, whether blown or percussive into well-structured yet always in a constant state of flux, into impressive soundscapes. These soundscapes are meditative, unsettling and seductive, often at the same time when each movement casts its own distinct and powerful spell on the listener. These soundscapes reference the “organized sound» of Edgard Varèse or the pioneering musique concrète of Pierre Henry.

These three soundscapes – «Ediacaran», «Cambrian» and «Ordovician» – correspond with different geological time periods that followed each other, and they relate to how different organisms appear and die out with changes in climate and different continents form and break apart. Obviously, this theme relates to the current climate change. The cover art by Kristine Knapstad also addresses this theme and is an image of a fossil.

Holsen’s sonic vision represents faithfully and beautifully these constant geological shifts with her nuanced and layered soundscapes. This unique geological perspective provides not only a conceptual, even motivational framework for urgent environmental concerns but also an apt metaphor for the relentless evolution of Holsen’s sound-making methodology.

Eyal Hareuveni

Hilde Marie Holsen (trumpet, electronics)

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