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Hilde Marie Holson - Lazuli

  by Keith How

published: 25 / 9 / 2018

Hilde Marie Holson - Lazuli
Label: Hubro Music
Format: CD


Hugely impressive follow-up from Norwegian trumpeter Hilde Marie Holsen to her highly acclaimed first album 'Ask'

It was around 7:30 p.m. when the rain came. The first rain for around six weeks. The air was clear, the skies full of menace but the rain was welcome. I had placed 'Lazuli' into my CD player and sat in the window to listen. For the next thirty-three minutes, as the rain blessed my garden, 'Lazuli' was the perfect soundtrack. An album of only four tracks, each one named after artist’s pigments,'Lazuli' is as beautiful as it gets. Listening to this album gives the feeling you get when studying a Monet or a Rothko painting. Hilde Marie Holsen plays the trumpet, and one might say she paints with sound as such is the transparent luminosity she is creating here. Creating constantly evolving electronic soundscapes that mutter and murmur away in the background, Holsen, like an Impressionist painter, allows her trumpet to glide across her electronic canvas, developing places for the listener to travel into. 'Orpiment' sets the scene. A gentle, blurry electronic soundscape provides a place where the trumpet intones gentle sounds like shafts of light, floating in and out of the shadowy atmosphere that is totally captivating. 'Orpiment' is yellow in colour and the trumpet here reflects that brightness. 'Eskolaite' follows. This pigment is black to dark green in colour and Holsen creates a skittering electronic opening that mirrors that colouring. The sense of wispy, dark mists allow her brooding singular intonations to weave in and out of the sonic landscape. The sense of mystery is all encompassing. The looped electronics provide a perfect playground for the echoed trumpet that fades away only to reappear. Sometimes a deep hum encroaches but never loud enough to impose upon the listener. A sweet lilting solo introduces 'Lapis'. Again almost discernable noisesin the mix make every effort to avoid being heard as the solo meanders soulfully along what appears to be a road less travelled. This journey is uneventful almost as if you know the destination is a sanctuary. Lapis is a deeply spiritual crystal that can enable us to awaken our spirit. It is a stunning sapphire blue in colour. If there is a “blue “note out there Hilde has surely tapped into its sonic power on this creation. 'Lazuli' is the final piece. At sixteen minutes long it is a fitting climax to the album. Holsen’s mastery of the electronic soundscape is allowed more expression here. As though out on the open sea textures rise and fall with the rhythm of the ocean. The drone is embroidered with threads of noise and scrambled sounds as it weaves an ever changing pattern. Only at around six minutes does the trumpet appear. More melodic than on the previous tracks the notes echo and reverberate with an intensity not previously experienced. Strange clicks and scrapes intertwine with odd noises and layered sounds of everyday life. Again the muted trumpet brings colour to the canvas. Blue of course. 'Lazuli' goes hand in hand with 'Lapis', so unsurprisingly the sense of mystery and invitation to quiet spaces is always there. 'Lazuli' is very impressive. Hilde Marie Holsen has taken the trumpet into other dimensions .There are others out there with her but here Holsen infuses her instrument with mystery and imagination that is totally hypnotic. As her album finished, unsurprisingly the rain passed and blue skies welcomed the evening. Splendid!

Track Listing:-
1 Orpiment
2 Eskolaite
3 Lapis
4 Lazuli

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