FBRCD-09: Crossing Patterns.

Smaalenenes avis. Trond Erikson, 6 October 2011.
This is a new record of contemporary music written for Lars Erik ter Jung on violin and Thomas Kjekstad on guitar.
It features contributions from the composers Ørjan Matre, Jon Øivind Ness, Henrik Hellstenius, Magnar Åm and Tanja Orning.
The composers are well-known, and they have done a sound job, and the two musicians play perfectly well.
Nevertheless, it isn’t exactly exciting, or to quote Magnar Åm: “I can’t promise that the music describes anything…” and we can probably be grateful for that. Because looking for meaning on this record, apart from being reasonably impressed by the two performers, doesn’t add any excitement to the hour-long experience.
The music is fresh, the sound is fresh, the structures are fresh, although on some of the tracks you can recognise well-worn formulae within art music – but only if you listen and study hard enough, it should be said.

It is easy to find things in FAVOUR of this record. The two musicians are doing an important job by commissioning new music for a relatively unusual combination of instruments – and after all it is enjoyable to listen to two musicians who play their instruments well.
And of the pieces on this record, Ørjan Matre’s “Crossing Patterns” and Magnar Åm’s “hugse” are the ones that stand out positively. Matre’s pieces consist of five miniature works of repetitive and symmetrical music, but broken into smaller units. The movements are short, and recognising the themes (which are repeated, in a way) makes for an interesting listening experience.
In this reviewer’s opinion, Magnar Åm is one of Norway’s most important composers. “hugse” is, as he himself says, a work in which the composer strives to find out more about the nature of being. As such, the piece is the sum of all of its small composite parts – almost like a musical collage. You should give your imagination free rein when you listen to it.

Track listing:
Ørjan Matre: “Crossing Patterns” (2009)
Ørjan Matre: “Chaconne” (2010)
Jon Øivind Ness: “Slow Dive” (2007)
Henrik Hellstenius: “The Argonaut” (2010)
Magnar Åm: “hugse (2005)
Tanja Orning: “Swen” (2011)

Aftenposten. Ida Habbestad, 14 November 2011.
The duo Twitter Machine has released a CD called Crossing Patterns. It presents works by five Norwegian composers who are neither excessively modernist nor symbolic, although they have probably been influenced by both of those movements.
I was particularly struck by the link between Jon Øivind Ness’ “Slow Dive” and Ørjan Matre’s “Chaconne”.
The former is inspired by Siouxsie and the Banshees’ song of the same name. Ness allows the performers to move away from the driving rhythm of the piece, slowing it right down in comparison to the original.
The resulting sound is rather pathetic and desperate, but it successfully opens the door to discovering completely different aspects of the material.

Sensitive and rough around the edges.
Matre’s pieces are also inspired by existing material. They are beautiful expositions of the Baroque style, with unpredictable repeating motifs and unpredictable melodies, but with a sense of unity and reassuring calm. The performers are just as sensitive in Matre’s piece as they are rough around the edges in the work by Ness. This tells us a third story, which is their ability to reach the essence of the music.

Other reviews:

FBRCD-12: Thommessen /Bibalo

FBRCD-11: Bite the Dog ll

FBRCD-10: Arvesylv

FBRCD-09: Crossing Patterns

FBRCD-07: Passione

FBRCD-06: Grieg Revisited

Currently in Norwegian only:

FBRCD-16: Chasing Strings

FBRCD-15: Anvik-Thoresen-Ravel

FBRCD-14: Tapestry

FBRCD-13: Portraits

FBRCD-08: Jumping Wide

FBRCD-05: Cirrus

FBRCD-04: Nostos

FBRCD-03: 19 March 2004, Oslo Cathedral

FBRCD-02: Oslo String Quartet Falling Upwards

FBRCD-01: Twitter Machine