Jo David Meyer Lysne

Jo David Meyer Lysne


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In one of the most striking debuts of recent years, Jo David Meyer Lysne’s ‘Henger i Luften’ (literally, ‘Hang in the Air’), magically combines the conversational fluency of contemporary chamber music with the extended sound-making techniques and alertness to the moment associated with experimental improvisation. The evocative, mood-enhancing atmospherics and tension-quickening rhythms of film music add another level, as does the contrast between the sonic purity of the mainly acoustic instruments and their sinister shadowing through subtle electronic effects. If you can imagine Morton Feldman scoring a Coen Bros movie you’re maybe halfway there. Fittingly, ‘Henger i Luften’ really does seem to hang in the air, sounding as mysterious and dreamily insubstantial as the poet Rilke’s conception of music as “Air’s other side, pure, gigantic, and not for us to inhabit.” Over seven compositions and one collective improvisation, the sextet of performers creates a totally immersive listening experience characterised by intense close-up detail, where the scrape of a bow on strings or the exhalation of breath through a saxophone’s reed are captured so fully that they sound positively monumental, whether heard naturally or reconfigured through electronic processing into a kind of science-fiction space music, as in the magnicently moody final track, ‘Februar’ (‘February’).