The title of the new, sixth album of the Norwegian trio Moskus, «Papirfuglen» (paper bird in Norwegian, captures the adventurous spirit of this genre-blind, improvising trio. On this album, Moskus go deeper – literally – into the woods, further into the cave and higher into the air. And just as a bird can be folded from a blank sheet of paper, Moskus has animated musical paper birds from blank sheets of silence and invites the listener into a world populated with them.
«Papirfuglen» was recorded live in the same room at pianist Morten Qvenild’s Ugla Studio (with Qvenlid behind the mixing board) in Nesodden in December 2020. Moskus found there a fleet of instruments was at its disposal Anja Lauvdal played synths, electronics for use with the piano, grand piano and harpsichord. Drummer Hans Hulbækmo expanded his drum with a drum machine, glockenspiel and Jew’s harp. Double bass player Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson alternated between mandolin, cello and the double bass.
The album sounds like a set of engaging walks within experimental sounds and dynamics. Each piece offers more opportunities for playful and vivid detours. The opening piece «Visket ut av regnet» takes the chamber, dreamy-folky route and the following «Hjorten i skogen» treads deeper into the forest with its infectious rhythm, but the third piece «Lokk til Eurydike» (and later the title piece) lifts off into vintage prog-space atmospheres. Later, «Hildegrad» even sounds like an irreverent and twisted homage to Hildegard of Bingen, and the album ends with another nuanced dreamscape, «Den første dagen i mai». This journey evolves as Moskus visits, blends, melts and welds distant ideas into its vision of a genre-free universe, suggesting amusing and quite insightful perspectives about its musical vision.
Anja Lauvdal (synth, cembalo, vocoder, p, samples), Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson (c, mandolin, b), Hans Hulbækmo (dr, perc, Jew’s harp, drum machine, glockenspiel, rec)