Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Espen Jørgensen - On the Great Alkali Plains (2006)

Not your normal post on The Rosemary Locale, but this is an album that I would like to share with you all. Espen Jørgensen is a Norwegian acoustic/classical/new age guitarist, most people will probably be able to identify with the fact that Espen made contributions on Ulver's Shadows of the Sun, here is his only solo effort to date. This album is easily among my top 5 favourite releases of the current decade. An incredibly talented and so far criminally overlooked musician.

"... Espen Jørgensen is not a name that will fling from the tongues of dark aficionados of neofolk with casual or obscure recognition, as the guitarist is a rare breed, an idiom with only tentative links to the physiognomy of the European tradition of shadowy song. This album is a composed performance of virtuosity, the degree of performance on solo guitar says as much right from the get go...

The Norwegian’s complected fingerstyle encircles and fills the spaces of the listener’s abode, redolent with echoic tails that transform one’s room into a chamber where even the inhalation/exhalation of a sorcerer at work can be discerned. Dissecting chordal structures, the fingerstyle of Jørgensen employs droning open-strings over intricate wefts of constantly evolving arpeggios and chord melody. Sharing an avant-garde take on fingerstyle as in some of John Fahey or Leo Kottke’s unusual instrumentation, ‘On the Great Alkali Plains’ elicits a decidedly modern American feel of acoustic guitar performance.

It is not until the third, fourth, and fifth tracks that hints of classicism and more experimental guitar fragmentation attest to Jørgensen’s influence being far wider than initially experienced.." Heathen Harvest, April 2007 "...The pristine pluck-and-strum of Norwegian artist Espen Jørgensen's acoustic steelstring and 11-string harp guitars is a thing of beauty and a marvel to behold..." Textura April 2007 "...Images of the late Michael Hedges and even Ralph Towner come to mind when listening to On the Great Alkali Plains, as the lulling, classically inspired arrangements sweep you away into never-never land..." Sea of Tranquility February 2007 "...Norway may have a reputation of ice and snow, Espen Jørgensen provides an audial warm blanket by the simple means of one guitar..."

Label: Jester Records


1 The Immaculate Conception
2 Move Ahead - Quickly
3 Mirabell
4 Down From The High Peak
5 Barren
6 The Woods
7 Farbror Melkers Bekymring
8 Himmelsangen


http://www.jester-records.com/releases_sub.php?ID=44 - Buy the CD

Bitrate: V2

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Anonymous said...

More Jester's releases, please.

Anonymous said...

This is amazing, thanks so much.

Your blog is one of the best out there (if not the best).

Always a pleasure to surf it.

Thanks again,

Witheringvisions said...

Thanks for the comments.

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