Arve Henriksen-The Height Of The Reeds.

Label: Rune Grammofon.

Originally, The Height Of The Reeds’ project was commissioned by the city of Hull, to celebrate the city being chosen as Britain´s cultural capital in 2017. This was only port of the story behind The Height Of The Reeds.

It’s  a culturally important commission that celebrates the longstanding seafaring relationship between Hull and Scandinavia. This has been the case for centuries, with ships transporting cargo and passengers across the North Sea. It’s a familiar journey for many who week-in week-out travel that route and will relate to The Height Of The Reeds.

Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset, Jan Bang and Jez Riley French wrote The Height Of The Reeds which was an important celebration of the link between Hull and Scandinavia. The Height Of The Reeds  was also a companion to a sound walk that was scheduled to take place in April, 2017 in what Britain´s cultural capital in 2017.

The sound walk took the people of Hull and visitors to the city across the Humber Bridge, where they saw the spectacular sights of Humberside and beyond. Those who took part in the sound walk were able to listen to The Height Of The Reeds on headphones as they crossed the Humber Bridge. This sound walk was soon proving so popular that the organisers were forced to rethink their plans. 

Originally, the sound walk was meant to only take place during the month of April, but given the demand for tickets it was extended into May 2017. Still, people wanted to cross the Humber Bridge listen to The Height Of The Reeds on headphones and another series of walks were scheduled.   

They took place during August 2017 and by the end of the month, the event was sellout with 15,000 tickets being sold. The sound walk had been a major success and it was no surprise when it was decided to release The Height Of The Reeds.

At the end of August 2018, Rune Grammofon released Arve Henriksen’s recording of The Height Of The Reeds on CD and LP. It’s essentially the same recording that the walkers heard on their sound walk. There’s  only a few minor adjustments which allow the album to make a seamless transition from sound walk to album.

For the recording of The Height Of The Reeds,Arve Henriksen was joined by the Chorus and Orchestra Of Opera North, joins with guitarist Eivind Aarset. electronics artist Jan Bang, and Hull sound artist Jez Riley French who provided field recordings from the bridge itself. 

This ranged firm the sound of ye Humber River, engine noise, the creaking steel wires, wheels as they drive along the asphalt and the song of the reeds in the wind. They play their part in what’s a powerful and evocative album.

That is the case from the opening bars of the ethereal and spiritual Come April right through to he filmic, dramatic and  broody Reefs And Roots where the sound of the wind buffeting the Humber Bridge can be heard. 

Otherworldly, ethereal, cinematic, beautiful  and broody describes The Swans Bend Their Necks Backward To See God. It’s a slow, carefully crafted soundscape which features Arve Henrikse’s rasping trumpet, field recordings and Opera North.

Height Of The Reeds In The Wetlands is  a beautiful  evocative track where  Arve Henriksen and company  paints pictures  rich in imagery on one of the album’s highlights. So is the wistful, elegiac and liturgical  Is There A Limit For The Internal? It’s a beautiful ruminative track that encourages reflection. 

Ethereal, cinematic and rich in imagery with a liturgical sound describes the beautiful Nymphs And Eurasian Horses. Waders then combines  pizzicato strings and Arve Henriksen’s braying trumpet create an evocative but rueful sound. The Wind In The Willows in hypnotic, haunting and bewitching, before the moody, eerie  and thought-provoking Pink Cherry Trees closes The Height Of The Reeds.

It started life as the accompaniment to a space walk across the Humber Bridge when Hull Britain´s cultural capital in 2017. The 15,000 walkers heard Arve Henriksen’s genre-melting album The Height Of The Reeds which features elements of avant-garde, classical, electronic, experimental, improv, jazz and Nordic Wave. They’re combined by Arve Henriksen’s multitalented cast, who are  responsible for a  cinematic widescreen opus, 

Arve Henriksen-The Height Of The Reeds. The Height Of The Reeds.

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