Mathilde Grooss Viddal – Notre Dame – Meditations and Prayers (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 46:40 minutes | 905 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Losen Records
Listening to Mathilde Grooss Viddal’s Meditations and Prayers, the listener may well feel there is a timeless quality to the music. The majority of the tracks are entitled “Reflection” and “Psalm,” and these two dimensions come together on “Reflection V – Psalm 3.
.” These references to meditation and afterthought are also explorations of musical material, some of which has its origin centuries ago. The musicians explore this material in a soft-spoken, but at the same time intense, manner. Soft-spoken is obviously not quite the right term, as there is no speech here, although there is communication. The musical voices establish something deeply meaningful. And I can only guess that those listeners who recognize the songs used, will relate the meanings of the music with the non-heard lyrics of tradition.
That the source-material is, so to speak, hidden in the music, makes sense in this context. The hymns and folk-songs, be it “Ingen vinner frem til den evige ro,” “Det hev ei rose sprunge” (Es ist ein Ros entsprungen), “Om kvelden når det mørkner,” “Jeg råde vil alle i ungdommens dage,” or “O bli hos meg” (Abide with Me), are not here as singular compositions, but as traces of the past, as a sonic archive being reenacted, showing how the past is with us, how heritage is part of who we are, and how contemplating the past – making connections with the past – is not about striving towards something timeless, but about acting in the here and now, using the past to inform our present.
Much of the album was recorded in the legendary Rainbow Studio in Oslo in collaboration with Jan Erik Kongshaug. The framing of the album, however, was recorded in Færvik kirke, a wooden church on the island of Tromøya, where Viddal’s foremothers where waiting for heir husbands, sons, and brothers to come home from the sea. In many ways, the album feels like one long sermon, where different nuances of thought are hinted at, giving ample room for the listener to sink back into her own thoughts and reactions. Here, too, the echo of tradition gives depth to a feeling of timelessness, of being connected to foremothers and forefathers, of listening to history and tradition.
1. Mathilde Grooss Viddal – Notre Dame
2. Mathilde Grooss Viddal – Reflection I
3. Mathilde Grooss Viddal – Psalm 1
4. Mathilde Grooss Viddal – Reflection II
5. Mathilde Grooss Viddal – Psalm 2
6. Mathilde Grooss Viddal – Reflection III
7. Mathilde Grooss Viddal – Du som låg i natti seine
8. Mathilde Grooss Viddal – Reflection IV
9. Mathilde Grooss Viddal – Meditation
10. Mathilde Grooss Viddal – Reflection V – Psalm 3
11. Mathilde Grooss Viddal – The Boys Lament for his Dragon
12. Mathilde Grooss Viddal – Afterthought
13. Mathilde Grooss Viddal – Prayer