Arve Henriksen to perform at Nordic Jazz Week 2009

Arve Henriksen. Photo by Oliver Heisch.

The uniquely lyrical, liquid and mellifluous sound of Arve Henriksen’s trumpet has had an important supportive role to play on a number of ECM recordings of the last decade. May 5 marked the release of Cartography, Arve Henriksen’s first recording for ECM under his own name despite having appeared on many albums as a sideman since 1996. From June 16 – 20 he will delight the American audience with music from his new album.

On Cartography, a shifting cast of characters, with Jan Bang (live sampling and album co-producer) at the center, provides a series of soundscapes, an ambient-experimental map of moods, for the uniquely liquid, singing trumpet lines of Arve Henriksen to scale and explore.

Cartography, the art of making maps, is an apt title. Recorded in the studio and in concert in Kristiansand, Oslo, Cologne and London it is almost a map of moods, of landscapes and soundscapes for Henriksen to explore. His trumpet floats and hovers over ever-changing territory.

John Kelman writing about the album on the Norwegian trumpeter’s most ambitious release to date. Henriksen has always been able to tap the deepest of emotions in the subtlest of ways, creating overarching narratives that go far beyond mere collections of discrete pieces. A beauty steeped in melancholy pervades the set; even when there’s a clear rhythm. Henriksen’s most fully realized disc to date, Cartography’s unequivocal consideration and detailed construction never sacrifice moving the soul with profound humanity and circumspect spontaneity.

“Over the last few years,“ says Henriksen, “I’ve been trying to find ways of playing that feel right for me and areas of music that interest me enough to keep returning to them. And I’ve been feeling uncomfortable with the idea of ending up playing ‘improvised jazz’. This album is part of a process of going back to go further. For more than twenty years electronics have been part of what I do, and the collaboration with Jan Bang and Erik Honoré has been inspirational. I like very much their way of bringing together acoustic instrument and electronics, their way of building and combining elements, sometimes from different places and times.” He points out that Bang and Honoré draw inspiration from the work of Jon Hassell, who is also a primary influence on Arve’s ‘vocal’ trumpet sound. There is a sense of a cycle of history completing itself -especially with Hassell, Eno and others now contributing to the Punkt festival curated by Bang and Honoré, where ‘live remixing’ is a standard part of the programming. In that sense, Cartography belongs to an alternative tradition of music making that includes improvisation and sound-sculpturing, dubs and remixing and awareness of ambience.

Cartography, Arve Henriksen's debut album with EMC Norway

Cartography, Arve Henriksen's debut album with EMC.

It’s also clearly in line with Arve’s own history. The early interest in far eastern sound, and the shakuhachi which triggered investigation into new means of tone-production is reflected once more in pieces like “From Birth”. The work methods employed also extend experiments Henriksen and Bang had begun on Chiaroscuro issued by Rune Grammofon in 2004.

Arve, who hails from Bærum just outside Oslo, studied at the Trondheim Conservatory from 1987-1991, and has worked as a freelance musician since 1989. To listen to his music visit and click on the links under for upcoming concerts in the U.S.

Source: ECM

June 16 – NYC – Le poisson rouge:

June 17 – Washington DC – Swedish Embassy:

June 19 – Rochester Jazz Festival:

June 20 – Knoxville, TN – Bijou Theater:

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