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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bjorn Fongaard, Galaxe

When music is highly experimental, in the very avant garde camp, it is you the listener who must do an accommodation, not the works themselves. That's been the case for me with the two-CD compendium of new music, principally by Bjorn Fongaard, Galaxe (Aurora 5068). It features music for 1/4 tones/microtones, as played by Anders Forisdal on 1/4 tone electric guitar, with the help of Hakon Stene on 1/4 vibraphone and percussion and Eirik Raude on percussion. There is also a work by Brian Ferneyhough, one by Ole-Henrik Moe, and one by Oyvind Torvund.

Mostly it's the sound of the 1/4 tone guitar out front with percussion and vocal at times and some pre-recorded electronics on the piece by Torvund. The "Sinfonia Mincrotonalis No. 1" appears to feature multiply tracked guitars.

Throughout you must adjust to the world of quarter-tones in a new music context. That perhaps is a challenge sometimes, especially when they ring out scalularly, less so when a part of sound matrices.

The works are concentrated, focused, played remarkably well by Forisdal, with the small ensemble pieces executed with precision and some grace.

It is music to grow slowly into, more so than something you embrace right at the start.

It will appeal to those souls with a real sense of adventure, students of ultra-modern guitar literature and avant fans. For others it will take some doing to get used to.

An adventure for the intrepid explorer!

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