Arve Henriksen

Chron + Cosmic Creation

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In 2012 Rune Grammofon released Solidification, a vinyl-only retrospective set that compiled Arve Henriksen's first three albums, Strjon, Sakuteiki, and Chiaroscuro with a new recording, Chron. Fans who purchased the original releases expressed an ardent desire to have Chron released separately. This package pairs it with another new offering, Cosmic Creation. The first album's recordings were edited from those made at home, in airports, hotel rooms, planes, and train stations across Europe. The set focused its deliberate abstraction on the concept of the genesis of planet earth. Henriksen created a meticulously structured inner music, one so dislocated and strategically edited he didn't even employ his trumpet until the fourth selection "Solidification." Cosmic Creation is an extension, an eight-part suite where his sonic ear is tuned not to the ground to pick up its tracks, ridges, and tectonic movements, but to the heavens. We hear the sound of his trumpet from the outset, albeit heavily treated, yet it reflects the hint of, if not the, melody, at least something to hold onto. But that notion, too, is short-lived as glitches, ambient drones, fragmented sonic washes, and glimpses of rhythm appear in tandem and contrast throughout. Pianos, keyboards, samplers, percussion, voices, his own updates of Jon Hassel's Fourth World concepts, and his own signature attention to subtle lyricism, are presented in a sometimes drifting, sometimes skittering, sometimes droning labyrinth of sound that gently nudges the listener outward toward alien spheres, glancing only haltingly back at the ground. Chron, released first, is easily the most "physical" disc, so it is perhaps correct to take Henriksen's view of being inside a surface; then on its more exposed level, looking outward into the universe. Heard in reverse order, however, the listening experience is an equally compelling scenario, where formlessness and flow are ever more compressed, fractured, formed, and shaped the closer we get to a surface, until we are forced inside its core. Taken together, Chron + Cosmic Creation present an almost inscrutable attention to the editing of sound and texture. As a whole, its detailed expression of timbre, rhythm, space, and design add not only to Henriksen's growth as a musician and sonic architect, but to the entire tradition of experimental electronic music.

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