Impeccably recorded, with delicacy and with depth, this
album has added five years to my life. As Hildegunn breathes
life into her trumpet and into her bukkehorn (goat’s horn), I
listen and I learn to breathe properly, to relax.
The bukkehorn is at least as old as the Vikings; the trumpet
of course came considerably later. But Hildegunn has a time
machine (in her cellar or in her head) and magically manages
to connect the two. At times, her trumpet playing sounds
ancient and primal and her bukkehorn sounds vibrantly and
compellingly fresh and new.
Music such as this, sparse, roomy, largely minimalistic,
can only be played to perfection by world-class musicians
equipped with massive technical dexterity and seemingly
limitless creativity. Don’t get me wrong, the album also
contains build up and climax. Just listen to the intense
interplay between Hildegunn (trumpet with Harmon mute)
and Espen, on Savolainen.
The opening track Hildegunn Vuelie (vuelie meaning yoik – a
Sámi vocal tradition) is composed by Frode Fjellheim, but
an essential factor about the rest of the album is the bands’
involvement in the various compositions. Mats wrote 22
and Vise, Per Oddvar wrote Families. Espen contributed
Velkomst with influences from the Latin American ‘ostinato’
form and the polyrhythmic Skoddeafall. Hildegunn wrote
the eponymous Time is Coming and Savolainen.
This Norwegian band relate as though they’ve been playing
together not only for several years, but also in previous
lives. To perceive such synchronicity, such empathy, such
compassion, such pure musicality, is a thing of joy. I’m sure
that you don’t have to be Norwegian, to write and perform
music like this, but growing up so close to nature itself, to
fjord and fjell, must surely help to shape artistic sensibility
and offer meaning to form and order.
Let’s examine the CD’s title. What does Hildegunn mean
by it? She says, “Seconds tick by, but time itself, goes
nowhere. It just comes. Much in life is temporary but right
now, nothing is on hold; it is now that things can happen”.
Time is Coming is an album to be proud of. For all those who
created, recorded and released it – and for you, who will
cherish it – and breathe! This is artistry at its very best.