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1
Nash Lontano Nash Lontano 4:38    
Album only
Track length:4:38
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600501
2
Backwards Henry II Backwards Henry II 1:43    
Album only
Track length:1:43
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600502
3
Parkins Cembalo Parkins Cembalo 3:46    
Album only
Track length:3:46
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600503
4
Fragment no. 6 Fragment no. 6 2:11    
Album only
Track length:2:11
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600504
5
Psalm Kvaen, solo Psalm Kvaen, solo 1:18    
Album only
Track length:1:18
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600505
6
Fragment no. 2 Fragment no. 2 2:05    
Album only
Track length:2:05
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600506
7
Music For One Cat Music For One Cat 5:36    
Album only
Track length:5:36
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600507
8
Arch Dance Arch Dance 7:54    
Album only
Track length:7:54
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600508
9
Psalm Kvaen, tutti Psalm Kvaen, tutti 1:45    
Album only
Track length:1:45
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600509
10
The Zoo Is Far The Zoo Is Far 3:29    
Album only
Track length:3:29
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600510
11
Fragment no. 7 Fragment no. 7 1:34    
Album only
Track length:1:34
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600511
12
Backwards Henry I Backwards Henry I 0:46    
Album only
Track length:0:46
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600512
13
Fragment no. 3 Fragment no. 3 2:40    
Album only
Track length:2:40
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600513
14
Detach A Detach A 1:32    
Album only
Track length:1:32
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød, Tanja Orning, Arve Henriksen
ISRC: DEB330600514
15
Need Elp Need Elp 5:39    
Album only
Track length:5:39
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600515
16
Psalm Kvaen, trio Psalm Kvaen, trio 1:31    
Album only
Track length:1:31
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600516
17
Detach B Detach B 1:48    
Album only
Track length:1:48
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød, Gjermund Larsen, Arve Henriksen
ISRC: DEB330600517
18
Backwards Henry With Drums Backwards Henry With Drums 4:31    
Album only
Track length:4:31
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød, Per Oddvar Johansen
ISRC: DEB330600518
19
Arpa Arpa 3:51    
Album only
Track length:3:51
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600519
20
Detach C Detach C 1:05    
Album only
Track length:1:05
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød, Tanja Orning, Gjermund Larsen, Arve Henriksen
ISRC: DEB330600520
21
Arch Dance With Trumpet Arch Dance With Trumpet 3:59    
Album only
Track length:3:59
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600521
22
Fragment no. 1 Fragment no. 1 1:03    
Album only
Track length:1:03
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600522
23
Psalm Kvaen, quartet Psalm Kvaen, quartet 1:34    
Album only
Track length:1:34
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600523
24
Allemande Es Allemande Es 5:44    
Album only
Track length:5:44
Artist: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Performer: Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Gjermund Larsen, Tanja Orning, Giovanna Pessi, Per Oddvar Johansen
Genre: Jazz
Publisher: Manuscript (NCB/TONO)
Composer: Christian Wallumrød
ISRC: DEB330600524

Extraordinarily concentrated music from the new, expanded ensemble led by Norwegian pianist composer Christian Wallumrød, which introduces three new string players - violinist Gjermund Larsen from the Norwegian folk tradition, classical and improvising cellist Tanja Orning, and Swiss baroque harpist Giovanna Pessi. Together, and along with the long-serving Arve Henriksen and Per Oddvar Johansen, they focus their resources on Wallumrød’s music. Not a note is wasted in these pieces. This is true ensemble music, uniquely nuanced.

Christian Wallumrød Piano, Harmonium, Toy Piano
Arve Henriksen Trumpet
Gjermund Larsen Violin, Hardanger Fiddle, Viola
Tanja Orning Cello
Giovanna Pessi Baroque Harp
Per Oddvar Johansen Drums, Percussion, Glockenspiel

“The Ensemble is this time expanded to a sextet, yet sounds like one organic corpus. Fiddle, harp, cello and trumpet melt together in beautiful melodies like ‘Nash Lontano’. In ‘Arch Dance’ a serial horizontal gesture from piano and glockenspiel is deconstructed in descending glissandi by trumpet and cello... Fragments of Henry Purcell and variations on ‘Psalm Kvaen’ contribute to a structured total experience.”
- Carl Petter Opsahl, Verdens Gang (Norwegian daily newspaper), March 6/2007

“The Zoo Is Far”, the fourth ECM album by Norwegian pianist-composer Christian Wallumrød, presents a further refinement of a highly original group music influenced, in varying degree, by contemporary composition, baroque music, folk, Asian music and - at several removes now - jazz. The new sextet does not replace the quartet that made the exceptional “Sofienberg Variations” and “A Year from Easter”, discs on which Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen and Per Oddvar Johansen were joined by innovative folk violinist Nils Økland. The quartet continues to perform, but the sextet has already acquired a personality and character of its own, reflected in Wallumrød’s tightly written material for it, his combining of sounds and timbres as well as melodic material...

“I am trying to look for the various ensemble sound possibilities rather than having a ‘soloist with accompaniment’ situation. I found lots of new possibilities with this sextet, perhaps most of all in the lower register, as the baroque harp goes quite deep down, and so does the cello. And the piano goes even deeper; all these elements also offer the bass drum some new partners...”

The sextet’s genesis was inspired by a chance meeting with Swiss harpist Giovanna Pessi in Zürich in 2003. The combining of harp and piano was an option Wallumrød had already begun to investigate in 2000 in exploratory concerts with Finland’s Iro Haarla. The opportunity to take this further was welcomed. “The baroque harp has a different sound and differs from the modern harp in the way it is constructed, something that made it a bit easier for me to approach as well. As I was looking for extended possibilities of range and colours within the bowed instruments and already knew about cellist Tanja Orning’s musical versatility, it felt quite natural to ask her to join in, too.” The line-up of the new group was complete with the addition of violinist Gjermund Larsen.

Each of these three players brings a wealth of experience to the total group sound. Pessi’s distinguished resumé includes collaborations with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Jordi Savall, as well as several years of study with Rolf Lislevand. Tanja Orning, previously principal cellist in the Stavanger Symphony is a musician at ease across several genres, open to new music, experienced in rock and interdisciplinary music, she released the album “Cellotronics” (Albedo Records) in 2005, a collaboration with Christian Wallumrød. Gjermund Larsen is a young player from the Norwegian folk tradition. Born 1981, and the son of folk musician Geir Egil Larsen, Gjermund won the national solo fiddle competition at Landskappleiken in 2002, and is the youngest winner in the history of the event.

“Arve Henriksen, as well as Tanja Orning and Gjermund Larsen have this ability to blend perfectly into each other and into the whole ensemble...”

In the Radio Studio of DRS Zürich, with Manfred Eicher producing and classical tonmeister Markus Heiland – more normally associated with ECM New Series – as engineer, the Wallumrød Ensemble approached the recording of “The Zoo Is Far” as they do their entirely-acoustic concert performances, working also with the natural sound of the room as one of the components of the music.

“I’ve long wanted to record the music in a way that puts the acoustic sound – the instruments, the room and the whole situation that influences the way we listen and play – into focus. This means that we can interact in the same way as in the concert situation. While this approach might be the most natural thing for classical musicians, it is a crucial step in my musical development. Today I am thinking about the ensemble and its performance as something that might belong to the world of chamber music.“

Specific musical influences on the pieces on “The Zoo Is Far” derive from Wallumrød’s intense listening to the Fantazias for strings by Henry Purcell (1659-95). Extracts of Purcell’s music are transformed in the three “Backwards Henry” pieces here. “Music for One Cat” is inspired by the Pakistani ghazal singer Mehdi Hassan. The “Psalm Kvæn” pieces were originally written in response to a choral commission. “I think it was natural for me to try to keep within a sort of Norwegian psalm tradition, which is characterized by its idiomatic blend of originally Lutheran chorals and folk songs.”

Yet however many references may be pinpointed the overriding impression the album leaves is one of striking originality and musical independence. As the Norwegian daily paper Verdens Gaang remarks of “The Zoo Is Far”: “Jazz, baroque, minimalism, contemporary music are words that only begin to convey a small spectrum of Wallumrød’s musical universe. He has an authentic sense of sound and structure, and again we are spellbound by the unique syntheses and the balanced contrasts.”

***

Christian Wallumrød, born 1971, grew up in Kongsberg, Norway. His earliest musical experiences included accompanying choirs in the local church. Jazz influences came almost entirely from ECM discs: “The whole ECM field of European and American jazz was a point of departure for my improvising.” He studied at the Trondheim Conservatory where he came into contact with Trygve Seim, Arve Henriksen, Per Oddvar Johansen and others.
Working across ‘jazz’ in many contexts he began to re-evaluate his approach to soloing after hearing the 1960s recordings of Paul Bley. His first ECM recording came in 1996 with “No Birch” a trio recording which also introduced the highly distinctive trumpet sound of Arve Henriksen. By this point the influence of contemporary composers, especially György Kurtág and Bent Sørensen, was also being felt in his writing.

Other ECM recordings soon followed, including a guest role with Trygve Seim and The Source in 2000 (“The Source and Different Cikadas”). With the encouragement of Manfred Eicher he assembled a new group with Henriksen, Per Oddvar Johansen and folk fiddler Nils Økland which recorded “Sofienberg Variations” (2001) and “A Year From Easter” (2004).

***

The press on the Wallumrød Ensemble’s “A Year From Easter”

“Very quiet, but very strong”
John Fordham, The Guardian

“A quiet, tranquil yet powerful album from a genuine original with a highly individual musical outlook. Wallumrød deserves a place alongside the late lamented Edward Vesala and Trygve Seim in the front rank of recent jazz-inspired innovators.”
Chris Parker, Jazz Review

“Absolutely beautiful Scandi-chamber jazz from another great Norwegian outfit. … This is ambient jazz full of small movements and gentle textural changes, but it’s surprisingly robust, with Wallumrød’s piano pleasingly edgy and drummer Per Oddvar Johansen clattering away to good effect. If you buy one Norwegian jazz album this year, this is the one.”
Kerstan Mackness, Time Out London

“This is a record that dares to be different. As close to perfection as you’re likely to hear.”
Duncan Heining, Jazzwise

About Christian Wallumrød Ensemble:

Christian Wallumrød (1971) 
- acoustic and electronic keyboards / composer

Christian Wallumrød has worked as a musician and composer since 1992, and he is considered one of the most prominent musicians of the younger Norwegian generation.

He made his debut on ECM Records with the album “No Birch” (issued in 1996) to considerable critical acclaim. The album “Sofienberg Variations” with a new ensemble (Christian Wallumrød Ensemble: with Nils Økland, Arve Henriksen and Per Oddvar Johansen) was released on ECM in 2003. Wallumrøds third album ”A Year From Easter”, with the same ensemble, was released in spring 2005 on the German record label. An extended version of his acoustic ensemble (sextet with long time partners Henriksen and Johansen in addition to Gjermund Larsen on violins, Tanja Orning on cello and Giovanna Pessi on baroque harp) played Wallumrøds compositions on the album ”The Zoo Is Far” (ECM, 2007). In 2008...