Reviews that mention Ivar Myrset Asheim

February 27, 2022

Andreas Røysum Ensemble

Motvind Records MOT16CD

Flexible enough to inhabit the musical currents projected in Norwegian clarinetist Andreas Røysum’s 75-minute magnum opus, the Scandinavian nonet easily creates a compositional mosaic. Røysum, who has played with other Continental sound explorers, and violinist Hans Kjorstad, provide individualized arrangements to guide the group through the program. With no brass section of piano the nine tracks evolve with a gutsy blend of reeds, strings and percussion.

Parity between the sections and soloists is also established, so that while certain sequences are designed to highlight percussion symmetry string harmonies or reed vamps, there’s designated space for prominent solos. These include Røysum’s chalumeau and bass clarinet elaborations; delicate or dissonant transverse passages from flutist Henriette Eilertsen; and spiccato string slices from Kjorstad. The most elaborate instances of these motif blends occur on the 17¼ minute “Flipp Ut” and the almost 11 minute “Swakuro”. Beginning with a psychedelic march variant with percussion ruffs and repeated horn vamps, the first accelerates to a swing motif that is torqued by string hammering from the violinist, cellist Joel Ring and bassists John Andrew Wilhite-Hannisdal and Christian Meaas Svendsen. Almost immediately the sequence is overtaken by squeaky flute overblowing and a near-Balkan dance rhythm propelled by string swells and reed vamps, intercut with contrapuntal horn asides. Climax arrives in the final two minutes with separate a capella squeezes from Eilertsen and strains from Kjorstad. In contrast, “Sawakuro” alternates between a percussion showcase for the gonging, reverberations and rattles of Ivar Myrset Asheim and a squeaky, altissimo reed synthesis that has TV cop show roots. Measured drum pops soon connect with near-orchestral procession rebounds, which following further bell tree, cymbal and other idiophone thwacks is further challenged by squeezed Aylerian snarls from tenor saxophonist Marthe Lea. MORE