Wednesday, July 11, 2018

David Kollar / Arve Henriksen - Illusion of a Separate World (July 15, 2018)

Illusion of a Separate World is the meeting between innovative Slovakian guitarist, film music composer and sound designer David Kollar (Steven Wilson, Pat Mastelotto, Fennesz, Marco Minnemann, Eivind Aarset) and Norwegian trumpet maestro Arve Henriksen. Shimmering soundscapes and haunting melodies mixed with soundtrack music, ethnic influences, electronic explorations, jazz hybrids, and post-rock riffs are at the core of this meeting. 

David Kollar and Arve Henriksen started their collaboration after they met in 2017 and played just twice before the recording. “I played last year at the Spectaculare festival in Prague,” said David “I had a solo performance and after me there was Arve playing with Christian Fennesz. At the end of the festival, we shared our contact details. In few months, we met again on the stage at Hevhetia festival in Slovakia.” The performance was such a bonding experience that the two chose to record an album together. 

In December 2017, David spent a week in the city of Faenza, Italy as the guest of his fellow trumpeter and friend Paolo Ranieri. This was the perfect setting to start sketching out improvisations that would become part of Illusion of a Separate World. David drew inspiration from life’s trials and tribulations or from the environment around him. “I played them as musical diaries,” said David. Soundscapes, moody riffs and rhythmic works emerged. He recorded 17 tracks and then gave them to Arve, who layered trumpet, voice and electronics over them. 

Through this joining of two unique worlds, in both geographical and cultural senses, the duo has created an anthemic album which reveals an intimate connection. It spans from the moments of quietness that slowly turn into walls of orchestral sounds like in Night Navigator, to the tribal drumming rhythms that Henriksen enriches with his voice-like trumpet in Chimera. When the guitarist transforms a simple clacking on string into a weird rhythm like in Silk spinning, Henriksen then turns it into a pastoral melody. When the trumpeter switches to his trademark soft-speaking voice, like in Mirror Transformations, Kollar places himself in a more subtle context, camouflaging his guitar in synth-like drapings. The Slovakian guitarist then takes the stage and hints at his Americana influences with a delicate guitar and trumpet solo in Solarization, that eventually morphs in an ethnic-flavored electronic experience. Suspended over Kollar’s cloudy drone, Castles in the Air is Arve Henriksen at his best, playing one of his most iconic solos. But he can also turn in some of the most intricate and haunting melodies like in the unsettling Roving Observer, which Kollar initially took inspiration from movie director Tarkovsky. 

Intimate, intense, passionate and subtle, Illusion of a Separate World is two artists showing how easy is for them to create music that is immediate and tremendously complex, haunting and gorgeous at same time.

1. Night Navigator
2. Mirror Transformations
3. Silk Spinning
4. Chimera
5. The Spiral Turn
6. Solarization
7. Vision of Light
8. Castles In The Air
9. Bird Of Passage
10. Augmented Reality
11. Roving Observer
12. Beyond the iCloud

David Kollar, electric guitar, electronics
Arve Henriksen, trumpet, vocal, drums, keyboards and electronics

Recorded in Prešov, Faenza and Mölnlycke april-mai 2018
Mixed by David Kollar and Roman Šoltýs
Mastering by Roman Šoltýs
Produced by David Kollar and Arve Henriksen