THE TRONDHEIM JAZZ ORCHESTRA, KIM MYHR AND JENNY HVAL-IN THE END HIS VOICE WILL BE THE SOUND OF PAPER.

THE TRONDHEIM JAZZ ORCHESTRA, KIM MYHR AND JENNY HVAL-IN THE END HIS VOICE WILL BE THE SOUND OF PAPER.

Back in 2012, Kim Myhr got the opportunity to collaborate with The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra again. This was an exciting opportunity for composer, guitarist and improviser Kim Myhr. He had already collaborated with The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra on their 2010 album Stems and Cages. It also featured one of Norway’s top vocalist Sidsel Endresen. With such an array of talent on display, it was no surprise when Stems and Cages was released to critical acclaim. So Kim Myhr was keen to repeat the experience.

Having agreed to collaborate with The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra again, Kim Myhr realised that here was the perfect opportunity to work with another of Norway’s top vocalists, Jenny Hval. Kim had known Jenny for many years, but had never worked with her. He was keen to rectify this, and his forthcoming collaboration with The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra offered Kim the opportunity to work with Jenny. She agreed and soon, work would begin on what was collaboration between some of Norway’s top musicians.

When Kim Myhr and Jenny Hval began to write together, it quickly became apparent that they had similar a approach to music. They both like to work quickly,  getting their ideas down on paper. The ability to improvise was also important. This was what Kim had been doing for much of his career. So had Jenny. With so much in common, it was no surprise that the music came together quickly. Jenny explains: “Kim gave me a lot of sketches and music, I wrote the melody and lyrics, and we improvised.” Quickly, Kim and Jenny’s collaboration took shape. All that it needed was a title. 

Kim and Jenny arrived at a title at the least unexpected time. They were having a break, and discussing Bob Dylan’s ageing vocal. That was when the words: “In the End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper” were first uttered. With a title to their collaboration, Kim and Jenny were ready to practise with The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, in preparation for the premiere of In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper.

For the collaboration between The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Kim Myhr and Jenny Hval, the lineup of The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra had been carefully selected by Kim. He had chosen each of the eleven members of The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. Their backgrounds were in improvisational music, jazz and contemporary music. Many of the musicians had featured on Kim’s previous collaboration with The Trondheim Orchestra, Stems and Cage. This time though, the musicians were playing an array of acoustic instruments. With some of the most talented musicians from Norway, Wales and Australia, the music that made up In The End His Voice Will Be the Sound Of Paper soon take shape. Now  The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Kim Myhr and Jenny Hval were ready for the premiere.

The collaboration between The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Kim Myhr and Jenny Hval was premiered at the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival in 2012. That night, critics lauded In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper. It was hailed as an ambitious,  captivating and innovative fusion of improvisation, contemporary Feldmanian music, pop and the spoken word. Kim’s second collaboration with The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, and first with Jenny Hval had been a resounding success. However, one question remained. Would an album follow?

This would take time. Everyone involved in the project was busy with other projects. So it was a case of everyone finding time in their busy schedules. 

After The Trondheim Orchestra’s appearance at the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival in 2012, they were busier than ever. The recorded two further collaborations, including Lion with Marius Neset; and completed Ekko their collaboration with Elin Rosseland. The Trondheim Orchestra also recorded the live album Tree House with Albatrosh at the Molde Jazz Festival on the 15th of July 2013. Meanwhile, Jenny Hval was just as busy.

She had recorded released her sophomore album Innocence Is Kinky in 2013. Jenny Hval had also worked on several collaborations. The most successful was her collaboration with Susanna Wallumrød, Meshes of a Voice. It was released to widespread critical acclaim, and went on to win a Spellemannspris, which is Norwegian Grammy, in 2015. While Jenny juggled projects, it was a similar story with Kim Myhr.

As one of the leading lights of the experimental music scene, Kim Myhr is constantly busy writing, recording and touring. Kim’s also composes for chamber ensembles, electroacoustic settings and previously, for a variety theatrical projects. Somehow,  Kim had found time to released his solo album All Your Limbs Singing in March 2014. Critical acclaim accompanied its release, and Kim headed out on tour. However, in August 2014, Kim, Jenny and The Trondheim Orchestra found the time to record an album.

In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper which will be released by Hubro Music, on the 13th of May 2016, was recorded at Rainbow Studio, in Oslo. Recording began on the 26th August 2014, with recordist Jan Erik Kongshaug working alongside producer Kim Myhr. This wasn’t an easy project, given thirteen musicians and vocalists were involved.

As the recording session began, the lineup of The Trondheim Orchestra included a rhythm section of drummer Tor Haugerud and bassist Michael Duch. The horn section featured tenor saxophonist Espen Reinertsen; trumpeter Eivind Lønning; tubaist Martin Taxt and Jim Denley on alto saxophone and flute. Violinist Kari Rønnekleiv was joined by clarinetist Klaus Ellerhusen Holm; harpist Rhodri Davis; percussionist Morten J. Olsen and pianist Christian Wallumrød who also played harmonium. Jenny Hval added vocals; while Kim Myhr played twelve-string guitar, added vocals on Mass. By the 27th of August 2016, recording of In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper was complete. That just left mixing and mastering.

Nearly a year later, recordist Jan Erik Kongshaug was asked to mix In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper. He mixed the album at Amper Tone Studio between  the 10th and12th of August 2015. All that was left was Helge Sten to master In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper. This took place between the 13th and 14th August 2015.  Nearly three years after  In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper was premiered, The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Kim Myhr and Jenny Hval’s collaboration was ready to be released.

This will take place on the 13th of May 2016, when Hubro Music will release one of the most anticipated albums of recent years, In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper. It features the considerable combined talents of The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Kim Myhr and Jenny Hval. As you’ll soon discover, it’s a captivating collaboration.

Seed opens In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper.  Its introduction is understated. Fingers flit  tenderly across a harp, while subtle bursts of piano and briefly, percussion interjects. Soon, an alternative array of sounds make their debut. A squeaking sound follows in the footsteps of shakers and woodblocks. Then as a violin protests, Jenny tenderly scats, before whispering: “the voice.” It’s tender, dreamy and spacious. There’s no sense of urgency as, Jenny reaches for the lyrics.  Her vocal is breathy as fingers scamper across the harp, the violin adds sense of melancholia and a drone sends out a warning. Meanwhile there’s an urgency in Christian’s piano playing.  Especially when Jenny’s vocal drops out. That’s when a myriad of alternative sounds flit in and out. Still the arrangement is spacious, and The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra pickup the baton and continue to improvise. The result is quite beautiful and captivating track that’s guarantee to whet the listener’s appetite.

A harmonium wheezes, starting and stopping as Something New unfolds. Again, space is left within the arrangement. Even when the braying horns join the harmonium, and make a brief appearance. They bow out when Kim’s crystalline guitar and Jenny’s ethereal vocal enter. However, the vocal drops out when the harmonium returns. This makes sense, as the harmonium dominates the arrangement. From there, the heartfelt and emotive, vocal floats in and out. Sometimes, when it returns, it’s joined by either percussion, drums or the guitar. They all add contrasting sounds, and become layers in a musical cake. Occasionally, the harmonium sweeps in, but doesn’t overpower the vocal. Then when it later takes centre-stage,  it wheezes in and out, as horns join a plink plonk piano, guitar and flourishes of harp. Later, a horn sounds, as Jenny’s elegiac, whispery vocal floats in, adding yet another contrast. There’s one last surprise, as what sounds like a horn sounds. By then, you’ve realised to expect the unexpected from this multitalented lineup. Their capacity to innovate knows no bounds.

Just a harp is plucked with a degree of urgency on Me, You, Me, You. Soon, it’s joined by an array of left-field sounds. They come courtesy of The Trondheim Orchestra who pluck, scrabble, scratch and blow their instruments. Using a less is more approach, these sounds captivate as they assail the listener. Soon though, the a plucked guitar is joined by the harmonium. It’s played subtly, as an array of alternative sounds join the guitar, as this alternative symphony becomes urgent and dramatic. Soon, a sense of calm is restored and the arrangement meanders along. Flourishes of harp and guitar runs unite before Jenny’s vocal soars above the vocal. Soon, it’s breathy and understated as she combines power and emotion. Briefly, she sounds like Suzanne Vega. Later, the guitar plays urgently, a drum sounds and Jenny’s vocal is multi-tracked, before free jazz horns wail and  a series of growls provide an unlikely ending to compelling genre-melting soundscape, where improvisation, avant-garde and Feldmanian music combine.

Dramatic and spacious describes the introduction to The Beak. After buzzing sound dissipates, there’s near silence. This is broken by a crashing cymbal and a shrill burst of flute. By then, a drum sounds and a piano is pounded. Despite this melodic describes the mesmeric backdrop. Especially as a guitar plays, and Jenny delivers a vocal that’s inspired by folk and pop. When her vocal drops out,  a drum marches the arrangement along, as a piano is pounded.It’s constant, dramatic and mesmeric, even when flourishes of harp, a harmonium are added. Still, dramatic and hypnotic describes a track that earlier, thanks in part to Jenny, was beautiful and melodic.

As Kim purposefully strums his guitar on Mass, Jenny is soon delivering a tender, wistful vocal. Behind, her an array of otherworldly sounds can be heard. Growls and snarls suggest an exorcism rather than a Mass would be preferable. These otherworldly sounds remain as Jenny’s vocal drops out, and percussion combines with the guitar. Later, Kim duets with Jenny, and their voices prove a perfect fit. They’re like yin and yang, as they unite, and harmonise. Behind them,  a series of clunking, whirring, shrieking sounds compete for the listener’s attention. When the vocal drops out, the arrangement takes on a hypnotic industrial sound. This is reminiscent of the dark satanic mills of the Industrial Revolution. They take on a strangely melodic  and mesmeric sound that proves almost reassuring.

Subtle bursts of harmonium open Even The Vowels. They wheeze before Jenny’s  vocal enters.  It’s like a soliloquy, as she wistfully sings then speaks. As she speaks, it’s like eavesdropping on someone’s private thoughts. Emotion and drama fills her voice, Meanwhile, the harmonium plays a leading role in the arrangement. Joining it, are a guitar, piano, whispering flute and gently rasping horns. They play softly, as if realising Jenny is the leading lady, as she delivers a heartfelt and emotive soliloquy. 

A scrabbled guitar plays urgently and is joined by percussion on Soft As Tongues. The harmonium wheezes, as a myriad of sounds escape from the improvised and urgent arrangement. It splutters, flutters, rattles and echoes. Then all of a sudden, flourishes of harp join and gusts of wind are joined by Jenny’s Feldmanian vocal. It grows in power, and at one point is reminiscent of Kate Bush. By then, Kim’s guitar joins the harp in adding to the beauty and urgency. Later, Jenny’s vocal sounds as if it’s been influenced by folk, pop and even improvisational music. Especially, as her vocal becomes like an instrument,  soaring above the arrangement where it joins a shrill flute, dark piano and drum. Jenny controls and elongates notes, until she can do no more. That’s the signal for braying horns to pickup the baton, on another genre-melting track that showcases a union of musical innovators.

Closing In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper is Silence A Beat. Just a slow, thoughtful and crystalline guitar solo sets the scene for Jenny’s wistful, elegiac vocal. Despair fills her vocal as she tenderly delivers the lyrics. Soon, her ethereal vocal gracefully soars above the arrangement, as a piano and percussion enter. By then, Kim’s guitar is played with more urgency. Meanwhile, The Trondheim Orchestra are improvising. Rattling percussion, a wailing harmonium and a harp add contrasting layers of sound. Suddenly, they drop out, and briefly, there’s silence. Then just the piano, Kim’s guitar, drum and a myriad of percussive sounds unite, to bring the album to a poignant and beautiful close.

Nearly, Four years have passed since The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Kim Myhr and Jenny Hval premiered In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper at Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival in 2012. Those that witnessed the premiere were hugely impressed. Especially critics, who aren’t easily impressed. However, they were impressed by the premiere of In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper. Critically acclaimed reviews were published, with critics liberally using works like “compelling” and “groundbreaking.” Music lovers who hadn’t witnessed the premiere of  In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper enviously pored over the reviews. If only they had been in Oslo to witness this triumphant performance. At least, readers reflected, there will be an album of In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper out soon. Or so they thought.

What everyone forgot was how busy the schedules of The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Kim Myhr and Jenny Hval were. It wasn’t going to be easy getting the thirteen musicians in the same studio, at the same time. This eventually happened over two days in August 2014.  Record byers thought that In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper would be released in the not too distant future. However, often record buyers have to be patient.

This was the case with In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper, which will be released on 13th May 2016, on Hubro Music. However, In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper has been well worth the wait. Not only is the music beautiful, ethereal, melodic and mesmeric, but also captivating, dramatic, melancholy and otherworldly. Always, the music is innovative, with surprises in store for the listener. They sit spellbound, as The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Kim Myhr and Jenny Hval flit between, and fuse musical genres.

Almost seamlessly, avant-garde, Feldmanian music, folk, free jazz, improvisational music and even elements of pop shine through.  The Feldmanian, folk and pop influences come courtesy of one of Norway’s finest vocalists, Jenny Hval. Her voice is variously beautiful, despairing, elegiac, emotive, heartfelt and wistful on In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper. Sometimes, her vocal is transformed into what’s akin to a musical instrument. When this happens, Jenny joins The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and Kim Myhr in creating a truly captivating album. 

In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper is an album that’s full of surprises.  The more you listen to In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper, the more of its subtleties and nuances it reveals.  That’s one reason why In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper is an album that one will never tire of.  Another is the music is innovative. The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Kim Myhr and Jenny Hval push musical boundaries to their limits, and continually combine musical genres in the pursuit of musical excellence on  In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper. They succeed in doing so, and for that, they deserve our thanks and congratulations.

THE TRONDHEIM JAZZ ORCHESTRA, KIM MYHR AND JENNY HVAL-IN THE END HIS VOICE WILL BE THE SOUND OF PAPER.

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