«Second Room» is the second album of Norwegian microtonal tuba player-composer Martin Taxt that investigates possible relations between music and architecture, following his debut solo album «First Room» (Sofa Music, 2020). «Second Room» was written for alto saxophone (Rolf Erik Nystrøm), two microtonal tubas (Taxt and his comrade from the Microtub trio Peder Simonsen), double bass (Inga Margrete Aas), church organ (Laura Marie Rueslåtten), hand bells (the whole ensemble) and modular synthesizers ( Simonsen) and was inspired by the Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, and his ideas on different concepts of living.
Fujimoto, in a lecture at the Harvard University in 2011 titled «Primitive Future», set up a comparison between the nest and the cave, as two fundamentally different ways of living concepts. Whereas the nest represents safety, conformity and predictability, a space designed for people, the cave on the other side represent the unknown, a naturally shaped space, not designed for the purpose of living. It can be uncomfortable to enter the dark cave but by spending time inside one can gradually start to adapt to the space. Fujimoto’s architectural designs always pursue new shapes and spaces that exist between nature and artificiality in this lecture he asked us to rethink our concept of space and the relation between space and the human body, so we will eventually discover different functionalities within the cave and innovate new functions in the already designed space.
The four-part suite «Second Room» offers a profound, immersive listening experience. It imagines a cave-like musical grid system, with three different melodic paths through the grid as if Taxt’s composition explored the rich sonic qualities of the cave. This composition moves slowly and organically between enigmatic and hypnotic status, which investigates the resonating qualities of the cave and the nest, to minimalist ritualist elements. It enables this unique ensemble to follow Fujimoto’s observation and find its own «small favorite comfortable places» inside this imagined, mysterious cave.
Martin Taxt (microtonal tuba, hand bells), Rolf Erik Nystrøm (as, hand bells); Laura Marie Rueslåtten (org, hand bells); Inga Margrete Aas (b, hand bells); Peder Simonsen (microtonal tuba, hand bells, modular synth)