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1982: Pintura

 

HUBROCD2510
International release: late November 2011

 

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Pintura is the second album by the original trio 1982. Their eponymous debut LP, released by NORCD in 2008, was one of our absolute favourites that year. On their new album, Pintura, they lift their interaction and experimentation to a new level.
 
1982 must be designated as a supergroup within the genre of modern, improvised chamber music. The group’s instrumentation is unusual. As far as we know there is no other ensemble playing improvised music using the combination of harmonium, drums and Hardanger fiddle.
 
Fiddler Nils Økland has a background as a folk musician, and is renowned internationally for his innovative playing style. His solo albums on the ECM and Rune Grammofon labels have received glowing reviews. Økland was a member of the Christian Wallumrød Ensemble for several years.
 
Sigbjørn Apeland plays church organ and harmonium. While studying organ he became involved in learning from and playing free jazz with the legendary British drummer John Stevens, and his list of recording credits includes albums with Sigrid Moldestad, folk singers Åsne Valland Nordli, Berit Opheim Versto and Agnes Buen Garnås, electronica innovator Alog, and noise duo Golden Serenades.
 
Drummer Øyvind Skarbø has studied with Terje Isungset and has undertaken study tours to Nigeria and Cuba. He plays with BMX, Kresten Osgood, Per Jørgensen and the Icelandic guitarist Hilmar Jensson, in addition to working with a solo project under the name of DIE, Allroundhandwerker! Skarbø has operated the concert club Øyvind Jazzforum in Bergen since 2006
 
The album was recorded at Grieg Hall studio in Bergen with technician Davide Bertolini.
 
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Reviews:

  1. “Slow-building harmonies float over rich organ-like low notes and distant rumbling tom-toms, then gather to gothic swells of sound punched through by peremptory drum hits. Ghostly harmonium chords are picked at and prodded by Skarbø’s rimshots, cymbal rustles, and scampering noises. Sometimes scratchy fiddle motifs spin and wheel, then low reedy sounds come and go against tearing-paper sounds. Fanfare sounds erupt over funereal pulses broken into by choppy keyboard figures. Hymnal chords hum over percussion slithers that sound like weary sighs, then turn into high pulsations suggestive of blinking lights. Lustrous textural effects give way to a bare angularity of sawing free-improv fiddle sounds against battering percussion, but the finale is a soft evaporation of drones. It’s astonishingly resourceful sound-painting for such a small group.”
    – John Fordham, The Guardian, 4/5 (UK)

  2. “This extraordinary album of chamber-style improvisations by the Norwegian trio of Okland (violin/Hardanger fiddle), Apeland (harmonium/Wurlitzer) and Skarbo (drums) lasts a little over half an hour and casts a very powerfull spell. It´s free jazz, if you like, but there´s no difficulty at all (and in truth, not very much jazz). Rather, the atmosphere can suggest, at different times, medieval, liturgical music, finger in the ear folk, and the Velvet Underground, wich is a pretty good combination.”
    – Phil Johnson, Independent on Sunday (UK)

  3. “If anyone can think of another trio that make folk-inflected imrov using drums, harmonium and the traditional Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, then I want to know about it. On their second album (follow-up to 2008´s self-titled debut), 1982 create sparse, acoustic soundworlds that seem to sit somewhere between ambient drone works and atmospheric, downer grooves. At one end of the spectrum, “10:38″ is an abstract collage that almost feels like a field recording made while taking a rowing boat out on a foggy fjord. And at the other, “02:18″ carries a subtle hint of dosed jazz-rock, with the Wurlitzer keyboard sounding like a Fender Rhodes and the drums enjoying a loose grumble. But it´s the Hardanger fiddlie that´s the most distinctive voice here, capable of setting up a thick, enveloping drone or singing sweetly with a bird-like trill – and often hinting at a close kinship to traditional Celtic music too. It´s a soundtrack to mists and mystery.”
    – Daniel Spicer, Jazzawise (UK)

  4. “If all three members of 1982 come from somewhat diverse backgrounds, their common interest in improvised music and, in the case of Nils Økland and Sigbjørn Apeland especially, taste for traditional Nordic folk music makes it a very intriguing formation. Together with drummer Øyvind Skarbø, Økland and Apeland have, with 1982, formed one of the most unconventional improv groups around. Using traditional Hardanger fiddle (Økland), harmonium and Wurlitzer (Apeland) and drums (Skarbø), 1982 work from openly folk-inspired basic structures, but they rapidly expand beyond these to create music which is truly unique and original.(…)Despite clocking a little shy of thirty-five minutes, Pintura appears somewhat epic.”
    – TheMilkFactory,co.uk (UK)

  5. “The 1982 Trio – they simply call themselves 1982 – are three Norwegian players who play all-acoustic music with violin, harmonium and drum kit on Pintura (HUBRO CD 2510). With this simple set-up they achieve some remarkable sonorities and combinations of tones that are extremely satisfying, the extended notes of each violin stroke fusing with the languid sighs of the harmonium, allowing each taut percussion note from the drumkit to ring out like a small lead pellet from an airgun. In the hands of more impatient musicians, these instruments could lend themselves to performing modern jazz music of some sort, but 1982 are largely concerned with creating introspective, slow-moving and melancholic instrumentals, none of which have titles and are suitable for observing natural landscapes or under-furnished interiors. One of my personal favourite King Crimson pieces from the 1970s is a semi-improvised tune called ‘Trio’ which featured the interplay of David Cross’ violin and John Wetton’s bass with the mellotron playing of Robert Fripp. If you heard that, and you like it too, then Pintura is sure to please you. The clear, no-frills recording quality on this album is the work of Davide Bertolini working at the Grieghallen Studio in Bergen.”
    – The Sound Projector (UK)

  6. “A mystic mixture of the Norwegian traditional Hardanger fele, drums and harmonium/Wurlitzer. Dreamy, almost fragile, compositions forming an intriguing mixture of typical Norwegian jazz, Swedish psych-folk from the seventies and modern composing. This trio plays like a storyteller, whispering stories in my ears. There is no escape; I have to listen to the subtle changes in rhythms and small, well arranged, melodies. I like the sometimes almost minimalistic approach and I love the way these musicians take the time for their music, they got a story to tell.”
    – Folkworld.eu

  7. “The trio 1982 offers a striking audio perspective via its unusual instrumentation. With deep-rooted and slightly disfigured Scandinavian folk, the band casts a vista akin to a solemn winter evening sprawled across farmland-like vistas under a full moon, amid a few highly-charged spikes in the action. They interlace jagged pastoral soundscapes with eerie voicings, and accenting rhythms to complement Nils Okland’s full-toned Hardanger fiddle performances. And with Sigbjorn Apeland’s use of a harmonium and Wurlitzer keyboard, a sense of antiquity graces the succinct blend of ultra-modern improvisational concepts and microtonal subtleties.”
    Glenn Astarita, Jazzreview.com (USA)

  8. “That Norwegian trio 1982 chose to leave the eight pieces on its sophomore outing Pintura untitled shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign of indifference on the part of Hardanger fiddler Nils Økland, church organ and harmonium player Sigbjørn Apeland, and drummer Øyvind Skarbø. More likely it’s a matter of priorities: why waste time mulling over titles when there’s music to be played? And beautiful music it is, too, not simply because of the arresting timbral result that comes from combining three such distinctive instrument sounds, but also because of the telepathic interplay that’s evident from the first moment of this improvised collection.”
    – Textura.org (USA/Canada)

  9. “Økland’s fiddling supplies the rootsy folk component, leading most pieces with foregrounded melodies, but there’s an equal amount of dissonant screech and metallic slice to his work. Apeland’s instrument provide a grounding, almost like plush carpet: thick velvety drones giving way to percussive tics, taps and cracked wheezing. Skarbø is perhaps the most difficult to determine, from understated lower case jostling to jerky, punkish stabs. The contributions are always intelligent and coherent, and never less than thrilling. The ‘coherence’ that 1982 achieve prompts comparisons with The Necks, specifically the manner in which Økland and co. create such coherent pieces from freely sketched improvisations. Opener ’1′ (all pieces are numerically titled) is a slow, mournful introduction, portentous and cinematic like something from Bedroom Community, but this heaviness is offset by the shuffed stomp and organ rasp of ’2′, Pintura‘s grooviest piece. ’5′ sounds like a jovial take on the Psycho shower scene, while ’6′ is all stretched and sustained, held chords from Apeland filling the space to bursting. Moods, tempo and approaches shift throughout, but Pintura is far from eclectic: that 1982 hold such explorations so closely together is a significant achievement.”
    – Cyclic Defrost (Australia)

  10. “The recording is very intimate, and the shaking of the harmonium is sometimes more audible than the notes that are being played. The improvisations are mostly of a subdued nature, sometimes touching on spiritual jazz, or blues during the more rhythmic pieces. The 7th track is where things get a bit more dissonant. For the most part, however, this is a relaxed, yet powerful set of improvisations, with unique instrumentation and an exploratory spirit.”
    – Foxydigitalis.com (USA)

  11. “ECM musicians put out an oddly melodic album of avant-garde tunes. The trio, composed of harmonium (Sigbjorn Apeland), drums (Oyvind Skarbo), and Hardinger fiddle (Nils Oklund) conveys a surprisingly whimsical take on Very Serious Music. Sort of a chamber jazz trio interpreting old folk tunes. I expect some people to say this isn’t jazz. I also expect some people to place this album on their top ten of the year. Released on the Hubro label, newly formed to focus on the Norwegian jazz and improvised music scene.”
    – 17 Dots, Jonahs Jazz Tip´s (USA)

  12. “1982 is a trio of Norwegian’s finest musicians, in an odd combination. We have Nils Okland on the Hardanger fiddle, Sigbjorn Apeland on harmonium and Oyvind Skarbo on drums. They have their ties into folk music, improvised music, jazz and some of them releases on ECM. Now that all seems hardly to be music we would have in Vital Weekly, but like with so many releases on Hubro I am pleasantly surprised. This is all highly improvised music that is in seven of the eight pieces quite small and introvert, though not exclusively.”
    – Vital Weekly (NL)

  13. “This is beautiful work from a trio that may get together only occasionally, but every opportunity is worth the time for you to listen. Ranking as one of my favourite albums this year. Highly Recommended.”
    – Jazzwrap (USA)

  14. “Geiger Nils Økland und Tasten-Eremit Sigbjørn Apeland haben schon auf der ECM-CD “Lisøen” ihre innige Eintracht in der Abgeschiedenheit des Fjell demonstriert. Auf 1982 “Pintura” holen sie nun Drummer Øyvind Skarbø ins Boot. Es mag befremdlich anmuten, wenn man instrumentale Musik als wortkarg bezeichnet, aber hier trifft das ohne Frage zu. Es klingt wie drei alte Freunde beim Angeln im Morgengrauen. Sie brauchen keine Worte, um gemeinsam die verheißungsvolle Unendlichkeit des anbrechenden Tages zu genießen.”
    – JazzThing (DE)

  15. “Einige Bands erschaffen immer wieder Kombinationen von Musikinstrumenten,, die einen die Ohren spitzen lassen. Die Verknüpfung aus spärlich eingesetztem Schlagzeug, gedämpften Harmonium und Hardangerfiedel, einem traditionell norwegischen Instrument, ist so eine melancholische, fast träge steigt das Trio aus Norwegen in das Geschehen ihres zweiten Albums ein. Sie erzeugen in den Momenten, die still und leise an einem vorüberziehen, eine unfassbare Weite, in der man sih problemlos verlieren kann. Frei improvisierte Geräuscharragements reichern das Geschehen zwar disparat an, wirken aber manchmal ein wenig infantil gegen das magisch traurige Gesamtwerk.”
    – OX-Fanzine (DE) 8/10

  16. “Var hör dessa toner hemma egentligen? Det är inte jazz, inte folkmusik, inte klassiskt. Det blir ny musik helt enkelt, med plats för både nattens drömmerier och vardagsljusets skiktningar. Det man slås av är den enorma känsligheten för små klangförändringar hos de tre musikerna, och den egendomliga inverkan som ett instrument som tramporgeln har, genom sin inbyggda tröghet och fascinerande luftpassager.”
    – Magnus Haglund, Göteborgsposten, 4/5 (SE)

  17. “Det här är riktigt bra, om än musik som kräver sitt rätta tillfälle. Särskilt imponerad är jag av hur trion får allt att gravitera mot Apelands tramporgel, som i sugande tag leder musiken in i en atlantisk dimma. Skarbøs växlingar mellan minimala skrapljud, blygsamma vispar och kaxigt markerade jazztempon är också ett stort bidrag. Det framgår inte om skivans 8 stycken är skrivna eller improviserade. Kanske handlar det om en blandform. Kanske är det helt ointressant egentligen. Här är en skiva som jag tror – och hoppas – kan nå en stor publik utan att vara luftig ECM för medelåldern eller stolt spelemannakitsch.”
    – Soundofmusic.nu (SE)

  18. “Jeg har hørt altfor lite på nye jazzutgivelser i år. Og folkemusikken står det langt verre til med. Flaks for meg at den norske trioen 1982 finnes: Bandets uttrykk lener seg nemlig tungt mot begge sjangrene, og et lyst hode har hostet opp sjangerbetgnelsen “heimstadjazz” om albumet Pintura, utgitt på det kvalitetsbevisste plateselskapet Hubro. Dette er en av platene som har fått kjørt seg hardest i spilleren min etter at mørketida satte inn sitt støt. Med få fakter (som de nøkterne låttitlene også indikerer) skaper orgel, trommer og fiolin stor, skjør magi. Hør også dronete, Velvet Underground-anno-John Cale-aktige “02:18″, og fortell meg hvilken sjanger dette er nå igjen.”
    – Marius Asp, NRK Lydverket (NO)

  19. “1982s instrumentpark skaper en særegen klang, som det føles godt å være i: hjemlig og trygg, liksom luktende av vedski, tjære og bark, men samtidig med antydning til uvær i horisonten. Slik blir det aldri kjedelig – ta bare det glimrende avslutningssporet. Her høres det ut som om 1982 sitter utenfor en sæter og spiller mens vi andre løper rundt og spikrer for vinduene og binder fast kyrne.”
    – Erik Kydland, Bergens Tidende, 5/6 (N)

  20. “Pintura inviterer til konsentrert lytting. Det får ein mykje att for – lenge.”
    – Lars Mossefinn, Dag og Tid (NO)

  21. “Det är inte varje dag man hör ett band som spelar harmonium, trummor och hardanger­fiol. Men så är det inte heller varje dag man hör ett band som norska 1982. ”Pintura” är deras andra skiva, centrerad kring en form av modern, improviserad kammarmusik där suggestiva stämningar långsamt mejslas fram ur det otippade men karaktäristiska gruppsoundet. Just stämningarna förefaller på det hela taget viktigare än enskilda skeenden. Gruppen tar tid på sig – och liksom sträcker tid, som då ett stycke börjar, pågår och slutar utan tydlig progression eller ens ett spårbyte. Ofta hörs en bordunton, men musikens ihållande drag byggs också upp med minimalistiska medel som små, föränderliga fraser och subtil växelverkan instrumenten emellan. En sällsam skönhet.”
    – Johannes Cornell, Dagens Nyheter, 4/5 (SE)

  22. “Wir lauschen einer »Supergroup of modern, improvised chamber music«. Mit Nils Økland an der bzw. den Geigen, Sigbjørn Apeland am Harmonium und Øyvind Skarbø an den Drums. Bitte? Noch nie gehört? Das sollen also die Mick Jaggers und Dave Stewarts der modernen Kammermusik sein? Nein, natürlich nicht, sondern … besser! »Pintura« bietet herrlich schräg angesetzte Improvisationen im strengen Kämmerchen, die zwischen Folk und Minimal, zwischen freier Improvisation und durchdachten Arrangements oszillieren. Das klingt manchmal nach einer sphärischen Reminiszenz an die frühbarocke Klassik, an anderen Stellen wiederum nach kratzgebürsteten Instrumentalpassagen aus den »Swordfishtrombones« (daran ist aber vor allem das Harmonium schuld). Stets aber klingt es nach unterkühlter (na ja, eben norwegischer) Kammerkunst vom Feinsten. Ein verschrobenes, leicht an den Nerven kratzendes, dennoch ungemein wohlgefälliges Meisterstück. Allen Ohren, die sich auch nur annähernd gerne in diese Sphären verirren, sei gesagt: Reinhören!”
    – Skug (DE)

  23. “Norwegen ist immer für eine Überraschung gut. Musikalisch ja sowieso. Was die dortigen Musiker an klingenden Leckerbissen dem ambitionierten Musikliebhaber zu bieten haben, reicht von skuril bis lieblich, von mystisch bis heftig. Eine Band der ebenfalls ziemlich speziellen Art nennt sich „1982” und besteht aus drei Musikern: Nils Økland, Sigbjørn Apeland und Øyvind Skarbø. Hier finden wir finden nicht nur eine vermehrte Anslammlung von „ø“s, sondern auch eine höchst selten anzutreffende Instrumentalbesetzung.”
    – Sound & Image (DE)

  24. “Pre nego sto objavim nesto obimniju listu svega sto sam slusao prosle godine, hteo bih da 2012. godinu zapocnem preporukom proslogodisnjeg albuma Pintura, veoma zanimljivog trija 1982, koji mi je pre neki dan privukao paznju. Album je izdat za etiketu Hubro, sa koje su mi se, do sada, jedino Splashgirl ucinili i vise nego zanimljivim i vrednim paznje, cak toliko da su ove godine usli na moju top 5 listu najvrednijih muzickih ostvarenja.”
    – Minimalisticmusic (SI)

  25. “Ime ovoga tria je 1982, kako se zvao i njihov debi album iz 2008 godine. Njegovi su članovi Nils Økland, koji svira hardingfele, norveški tradicijski instrument nalik violini, Sigbjørn Apeland, orguljaš i svirač harmoniuma, inače i doktor etnomuzikologije, te Øyvind Skarbø, perkusionist, koji sarađuje i sa drugim značajnim imenima norveške muzičke scene, poput iznimnog saksofoniste Håkon Kornstada. Ovaj trio neobičnog instrumentarija je u decembru prošle godine izdao svoj drugi studijski album, naslova Pintura. Radi se o veoma naročitoj zbirci zvučnih pejzaža u kojima se kroz eksperimentalni i improvizacijski postupak nazire i lijepi folklor Norveške.”
    – Radio Sarajevo (BA)