Music Unlimited Festival 36

Posted in Free Jazz Blog, Nov 19, 2022

SPUNK. Photo (c) Eckhart Derschmidt

“(…) The next performance was by the long-standing outfit in this year’s program. The Norwegian quartet SPUNK (the name comes from Astrid Lindgren’s character Pippi Longstocking who invented the word “spunk” and then spent the day looking for a meaning for the word) – electronics player and vocalist Maja S. K. Ratkje, trumpeter and flutist Kristin Andersen Høvin, French horn and electronics player Hild Sofie Tafjord and cellist Lene Grenager – was founded in 1995 as a free improvising unit where each member’s individual expression matters equally, and as an ensemble that sees the concert space almost as a fifth member. The extensive experience of playing and improvising together as a collective, with the highly idiosyncratic voices of these four musicians led to a magnificent, inventive and exciting set. The chaotic, weird, noisy and nonsensical ideas were structured playfully and made perfect sense. The urgent dynamics gently shifted into almost refined chamber electroacoustic ones, still sounding strange but totally captivating with its free, wild imagination, and Ratkje’s whistling at the end of the set added a chilling Ennio Morricone-tinged touch. The attentive, appreciative audience clearly played its part in the best set of the festival. (…)

Eyal Hareuveni

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