Places of Worship signals trumpeter and composer Arve Henriksen's return to Rune Grammophon and furthers his collaboration with both Jan Bang and Erik Honoré. Here his experimentations with sound, space, and texture offer listening environments that reflect various sacred spaces the world over, hence its title. While these tracks are impossible to separate from the influences of Jon Hassell's Fourth World Music explorations or the more murky moodscapes of Nils Petter Molvær, they are also more than a few steps removed from them. Henriksen never separates himself from the environmental information provided by his natural Nordic landscape. The lush, wild, and open physical vistas of its geography provide an inner map for the trumpeter and vocalist that amounts to a deeply focused series of tone poems.
Trumpeter Arve Henriksen's brand of contemporary improvised music could easily be compared to ECM labelmates Jon Hassell and Nils Petter Molvaer. Yet there are certain distinctions that separate the voodoo economic vistas of Hassell and the film noir style of Molvaer from the spacious, more organic sound that Henriksen has created on this recording, as the title suggests. Using the slightest of note clusters or phrases, Henriksen also surrounds himself with a certain yin-yang concept, where 180-degree polar opposites congeal without clashing.
The renowned Norwegian guitarist – who has previously contributed to ECM recordings with Nils Petter Molv?r, Marilyn Mazur, Arve Henriksen, Andy Sheppard, Arild Andersen and Jon Hassell – with a first ‘leader’ disc for the label, recorded in Kristiansand and Oslo. “Dream Logic” is aptly named, its slowly developing drifting pieces, built up from layers of guitars, have an almost hallucinatory quality, an otherworldly ambience. Jan Bang, who is co-composer of a number of the pieces, also contributes sounds and samples, and co-produced the disc.
The music of this album is a clear example of the deep-rooted migrational nature of our local existence. It is music of a remote past, marked by radically different life conditions. It is music from distant areas connected by wandering people in search of better life conditions. It is music handed down by word of mouth for a long time and finally documented in written form during the last century. It is music to be recovered, reconstructed and re-contextualized in an ongoing process of searching, appropriating and re-inventing, of sense making at the intersection of a resonating past and today's breathing.