Stephan Meidell: Cascades
Released february 2014
LP iTunes Spotify
Impressive debut album from adventurous guitar player Stephan Meidell is a guitarist and improviser and plays with the bands Cakewalk, The Sweetest Thrill, Vanilla Riot and Krachmacher. Stephan hails from Kristiansand but resides in Bergen. This is his solo debut release. Available as DL and in a LP edition limited to 200 copies.
“This project began in January 2011, when I wanted to test out the acoustics of an old margarine factory and meat storage space that was being built into a culture house. The second floor was big and spacy, and would later be used for concerts, exhibitions etc. The acoustics of the space was going to be treated with plates to dampen the reverb, so I had to act quickly. Music studios were already up and running in the house at this time, so to be able to record, I had to start around 6 in the morning, before they came to work. Placing mikes all around the room, I had no special plan – just improvise and see where it got me. I did this for four days straight, and in the end I was exhausted – both by the cold (the room had no heating), and trying to wreck my brain to find new ways of exploring the factory-like acoustics. I ended up with a lot of hours of material, and gradually started going through it the following months. I later did some recordings in my studio, and have been working on this music on and off for the last two and a half years. In 2012 I performed a commission for Ny Musikk Kristiansand at a big silo at the Architect School of Bergen, and found that some of the material from that space worked great together with the material from Bergen Kjott. “Suspire” is a layering of recordings from that concert and the Bergen Kjott sessions with parts re-recorded in the vast space of the big freezer hall of Bontelabo (Europe’s biggest?). It is – at the core – the sound of three different room characteristics (mis)treated by an improvising guitarist. This layering of sounds has become the foundation for “Cascades”. Putting together material from different improvisations, adding rhythm to some, changing the tonality to others etc. It is not merely free improvisations, but I have tried not to treat the music to surgically. You can hear some noise from the room, from the effect pedals and me moving around, and minor “accidents” along the way. This the sound of acoustics that probably will never be heard again. The second floor of Bergen Kjott is now dampened, but the sound that was is now on tape.” Stephan Meidell – Bergen, September, 2013.