The experimental quartet Volumes – Norwegian guitarist Fredrik Rasten and trumpeter Torstein Lavik Larsen (both play together in the duo Pip and in the quartet Oker), Swedish clarinetist Isak Hedtjärn, who plays in the new version of Mats Gustafsson’s Fire! Orchestra, and German pianist Magda Mayas, known from the Great Waitress trio and the duo Spill with The Necks’ percussionist Tony buck – focuses on highly minimalist but very imaginative kind of free-improvisation. The three pieces on the quartet’s debut album do speak volumes about the unique delicate atmosphere of View. These pieces are titled as views and offer insightful perspectives on the psychoacoustic phenomenons of such fragile atmosphere, as the music take an almost tactile quality.
«View» was recorded live in Trondheim and Oslo in September 2017. Rasten uses rulers, bows and stones while playing the acoustic guitar in order to create long tonal texture. Mayas often plays inside the piano. as well as the exterior parts of the piano, and like Rasten, employs extended techniques to vibrate the piano strings, using preparations and objects that become extensions of the instrument itself. Lavik Larsens and Hedtjärn – who plays the metal clarinet – employ extended breathing techniques that cement the ethereal atmosphere of Volumes’ improvised soundscapes.
«View I» flows quietly as if it has found its true organic course, letting the gentle percussive touches on the strings of the acoustic guitar and the piano resonate deeper and deeper within the soft, quiet ripples of the trumpeter and clarinettist. There are few minor whirlwinds along the way, all add more nuances and shades of this poetic soundscape. The shorter «View II» introduces elements of tension that become more disturbing and threatening as this sparse and almost transparent drone progresses. On the last and shortest «View III» Rasten and Mayas sketche fleeting, fractured rhythmic patterns that echo through the airy voices of Hedtjärn and Lavik Larsen.
Isak Hedtjärn (cl), Fredrik Rasten (g), Torstein Lavik Larsen (tp), Magda Mayas (p)