les presses du réel

Most, but Potentially All (vinyl LP)

Jim O\'Rourke, Eivind Lønning - Most, but Potentially All (vinyl LP)
Composed by Jim O'Rourke and pieced together by Jim together with longtime collaborator and trumpeter Eivind Lønning at Jim and Eiko Ishibashi's home in the Japanese mountains, this engrossing new album blows brass wails and tense fanfares across O'Rourke's manipulated Kyma tapestries for a deep, captivating trip into the aether.
Eivind Lønning has been sharing ideas with O'Rourke for several years: the duo collaborated on music for the Whitney's 'Calder: Hypermobility' exhibition, and Lønning played trumpet on O'Rourke's brilliant 2020 album 'Shutting Down Here'. For this new work, Lønning headed to O'Rourke and EIko Ishibashi's home studio in the Japanese mountains, where he teased unfamiliar, alien textures from his trumpet to open the labyrinthine three-part composition. O'Rourke took the material and subsequently funnelled it through his Kyma system, transforming it into a swirl of sound that hums alongside Lønning's original takes. The album was composed, mixed and mastered by O'Rourke, with everything's based on Lønning's virtuosic performance.

The album begins by cautiously introducing us to its sonic palette: wavering, bird-like horn wails that O'Rourke contorts around quiet synth oscillations and computerised swarms. Lønning's spittle-drenched blasts are given the spotlight, but O'Rourke's manipulations - often gentle and illusory, and sometimes utterly lacerating - lift the sounds into completely new territory. When Lønning begins to turn rhythmic cycles using the trumpet keys, popping with his mouth to compliment its leathery timbre, O'Rourke replies with dense, hallucinatory drones, juxtaposing unstable electronics with Lønning's breathy, sustained notes. All these sounds coalesce into a dizzy vortex, but O'Rourke is careful not to overwhelm the senses, dropping to near silence as the first act transitions into the second. O'Rourke pelts Lønning's vertiginous wails, steadily mutating them into Xenakis-like stabs until they sound like cybernetic strings and icy tones that extract the tension from Lønning's brassy harmonics.
The third act is more screwed, with O'Rourke allowing Lønning's improvisations wail into cathedral-strength reverb, accompanying the sound with glassy penetrations and throbbing subs. Here, Lønning sounds as if he's heralding the arrival of a celestial being, piercing the atmosphere with bright, sustained tones and muted, jazzy flourishes. O'Rourke hangs back, carefully spinning the notes into naturalistic fibres and orchestral drapery, before he allows the electronics to subside completely and the trumpet to echo into the imposing negative space.
'Most, but Potentially All' is a dumbfounding piece that shifts the dial on contemporary experimental music; dizzyingly complex but never showy, it's the kind of record you can spin repeatedly and hear something different each time. As an exploration of the trumpet, it's a unique expression, and as a progression of electro-acoustic compositional techniques, it draws a deep trench in the sand, setting a new standard.
Musician, composer, improviser and producer, Jim O'Rourke (born in 1969 in Chicago, lives and works in Tokyo) is an essential figure of the American independent rock and post-rock scene (his solo records released on Drag City or in groups with Gastr Del Sol and Sonic Youth have all become classics of the 1990s and 2000s) as well as experimental and electroacoustic music. His collaborations are countless: Illusion Of Safety, Christoph Heemann, David Grubbs, Loren Connors, Wilco, Henry Kaiser, K.K. Null, Günter Müller, Voice Crack, Evan Parker, Phill Niblock, Mats Gustafsson, Tony Conrad, Faust, Space Streakings, Loose Fur, Fennesz, Diskaholics Anonymous Trio, Carlos Giffoni, Keiji Haino, Masami Akita, Masaya Nakahara, Takehisa Kosugi, Fire!, Akira Sakata, Oren Ambarchi, Stephen O'Malley, Kassel Jaeger, Anthony Burr, John Fahey, Tortoise, Stereolab, Red Crayola, Guided By Voices, Merzbow...
Eivind Lønning (born 1983) is a Norwegian composer and trumpeter. Particularly active on the Nordic creative music scene, he has played with Christian Wallumrød, Joshua Redman, Dave Holland, Chick Corea, the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, and collaborates with Espen Reinertsen under the name Streifenjunko.
2024 (publication expected by 3rd quarter)
topicsJim O'Rourke, Eivind Lønning: other titles

Jim O'Rourke: also present in

related to

 top of page