It happens only rarely that musicians working with improvisation at the sharp end of experimental practice are so attuned to contemporary style and taste that their work reaches beyond “the serious” or “the popular” to come out the other side sounding like a genuinely new form resonating on both levels simultaneously. Building Instrument – the Bergen-based trio- are such a group. The trio has excisted for more than 10 years, and their music still comprises a mixture of freely improvised parts and other compositions and arrangements done in close collaboration by the three.
«MÅNEN, ARMADILLO» TAKES AUDIENCES ON A JOURNEY. BUILDING INSTRUMENT‘s latest work brings the magic of music to life with their unique sound.
BUILDING INSTRUMENT debuted the commissioned work Månen, Armadillo at EKKO Festival 2022 to an outstanding reception. Mari Kvien Brunvoll (vocals, electronics), Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (drums) and Åsmund Weltzien (synths) along with their cornucopia of instruments deliver an unforgettable live-experience where they bring experimental music honed to precision by years of experience.
Whispering creates a magical setting in your mind
As the band takes the stage, their whispering sounds transport listeners to a world of their own creation, carrying them away by benevolent melodies that envelop the ears with loving warmth. Through their multitude of instruments, the band illustrates with versatility the true magic of music, transporting the audience’s imagination to distant places. Their 4th album is set to release late 2023/2024. Read more about their performance here.
On their last album Mangelen Min’(following up the acclaimed self-titled Hubro debut from 2014, and ‘Kem Som Kan å Leve’ from 2016), they mix electronic echoes of the classical baroque, Hegg-Lunde’s hypnotic drums that sound almost melodic, Brunvoll’s fragile but powerful vocals and her electronic manipulations of sounds, Weltzien’s dreamy and deep spacey synth sounds. The result is a continually diverting series of subtle and intricately nuanced musical settings where the rate of change never lets up. Yet the group’s massive sense of groove also makes this art that you can dance to. This humble, hand-made aesthetic fits the band like a glove, and connects them to a kind of international informal movement of artists working with advanced technology yet retaining a home-made style and ethos that can feel more analogue than digital, more human than machine.
Their sense of a home-made craft aesthetic is also reinforced by the band’s choice of unusual sound sources and the organic-seeming way they structure them through intricate layering to form the music. You’ll hear samples of the instruments kora, Hardanger fiddle, vibraphone, wind instruments and whistles in addition to the customary resources of song, drums and synthesisers.
Mari Kvien Brunvoll’s multi octave voice is striking and is so adaptable that it becomes yet another instrumental tool. But whatever the instrument, and whatever the musical context or point of reference, whether the contemporary Caribbean or the court music of eighteenth century Versailles – both of which get a knowing nod in Building Instrument’s work. They emphatically sound like no one but themselves. As on the two previous albums, ‘Mangelen Min’ comprises a mixture of real-time playing on a wide range of instruments, and live sampling and electronic processing.
The final product is stitched together from the materials available to form a seamless musical tapestry that feels distinctively hand-crafted. This humble, hand-made aesthetic fits the band like a glove, and connects them to a kind of international informal movement of artists working with advanced technology yet retaining a home-made style and ethos that can feel more analogue than digital, more human than machine. The same feeling can be detected in the beautiful animated film created by the Dutch video artist Simone Hooymans for the track ‘Rett Ned’ from Building Instrument’s second Hubro album, ‘Kem Som Kan Å Leve’.