Release date: December 11, 2020
Release concert: December 13, 2020 as a live stream on Vierlive.no from Duper Studio
Kjetil Møster: tenor and baritone saxophones, clarinet, electronics, percussion
Hans Magnus Ryan: electric guitar, electronics
Nikolai Hængsle: electric bass, electronics
Kenneth Kapstad: drums, percussion
All music initiated and organized by Kjetil Møster and
put into action by collective efforts of the band Møster!
Recorded by Christian Engfelt at Studio Paradiso, Oslo, January 20–24, 2020.
Mixed and mastered by Jørgen Træen at Grotten,
This album is supported by Fond for Utøvende Kunstnere and by the Grieg Academy, Faculty of Fine Arts, Music and Design, University of Bergen
Design: Aslak Gurholt (Yokoland)
Photo: Hamilton Maxwell, Bergen County, New Jersey 1920
(p) & (c) Grappa Musikkforlag AS 2020 www.hubromusic.com firstname.lastname@example.org
All trademarks and logos are protected. All rights of the producer and of the owner of the work reproduced reserved. Unauthorized copying, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting of this record prohibited.
1. The Bonfire, The Sun (13:48)
2. Waistful Tendensities (3:26)
3. Ausculptation (4:11)
4. Organ of Bodies I: Blightness (4:27)
5. Organ of Bodies II: Tentactility (9:05)
6. Organ of Bodies III: Palpatience (5:58)
Following the release concert for States of Minds at Henie Onstad Art Centre in September 2018, we played nine live concerts during 2019. The concert repertoire consisted of older material mixed with some of the newly released. It did not make much sense to recreate all the new material as live concert versions since States of Minds to such an extent resulted from the possibilities offered by the studio's processing and editing tools. In our live concerts, a tune's main purpose is usually to function as a basis for interplay and improvisation. The compositions are starting points, and their individual modes and building blocks set the premises for the improvisations. The building blocks are usually cues or points of transition functioning as landmarks that we use to navigate during improvisations. These are well-known organizational strategies for extended improvisation within the jazz realm.
In every concert, we played Brainwave Entrainment, also when Jørgen Træen was not with us to play the characterizing modular synthesizer which opens the album version. The live versions started with five to ten minutes of free improvisation, which often felt hesitant and without direction. It became clear that the general preference in the band was to improvise by means of concrete musical material, such as riffs, song structures, and rhythms. Even though a part of me wished we could explore the free improvisations more elaborately also in concerts, I believe it would be counterproductive to try to force it onto the group. I cannot see what would be "free" about that. The free improvisational method had worked well in the recording studio as a tool to extract new ideas and musical material, and it disclosed and magnified many sonic idiosyncrasies inherent in the band. It developed the band into a more coherent unit, both in sound and in process. However, in the recording studio, we had time to experiment for hours in search of the few magic parts, whereas the live concert situation demanded a different kind of consistency.
The States of Minds-sessions had changed the band's course, but I wanted this album to be an even further development and avoid applying the same work methods once more. The upcoming recording session also had different premises; it was scheduled with half the amount of studio days, and six months had passed since we last played together. Also, drummer Kenneth Kapstad had been preliminarily substituted by Olaf Olsen throughout 2019 due to other obligations. These factors added some pressure to the situation since we had a time frame of nine days to reassemble the band, learn and embody a new set of tunes and record them onto a new album.
To try to make the process efficient, I planned the preproduction around a live concert at a specific venue, hoping that it would help us reactivate our group knowledge. In Leuven, Belgium, Benny Vermeulen and Sara Franssens have run a concert series featuring stoner-, psychedelic, and heavy rock bands for close to twenty-five years under the name Orange Factory1. During the last decade, they discovered the rock-influenced prog-jazz bands associated with the labels Rune Grammofon and Hubro through their connection to Norwegian rock band Motorpsycho, in which Møster! guitar player Hans Magnus Ryan also plays. Orange Factory has increasingly let bands like Møster! seep into their programming to offer the audience an alternative version of the genres they normally present. The first time we played there was the day after we finished recording States of Minds, a concert that was extremely rewarding to the band as it contextualized the music perfectly and gave purpose and meaning to what we do. I scheduled the concert at Sojo as part of the preparations, two days prior to the recording of Dust Breathing, hoping the experience would bring a live concert perspective into the studio.
The live perspective felt crucial to prioritize in the process. The recent touring had shown us that States of Minds had left us with scarce material to embellish in concerts. The creative clog following When You Cut Into The Present (Hubro, 2015) had been cleared by the free improvisations and non-hierarchical organization of the States of Minds-sessions. It resulted in a repertoire of methods and musical possibilities, but I also wanted to translate the experiences into something that would be valuable as live concert material while still exploring the saxophone's potential within the band context. How could I shape musical sketches that opened for further explorations of the instrument's roles and relations while still providing the band with a foundation we enjoyed performing in live situations? Could it be that an enforced, one-sided quest for openness and "free" improvisation would lead the band to confusion? Maybe my recent preferences for free improvisation presented a too drastic disarticulation of the band's organization? Because; how to make a change? Deleuze and Guattari says: "You don't do it with a sledgehammer, you use a very fine file. You invent self-destructions that have nothing to do with the death drive. Dismantling the organism has never meant killing yourself, but rather opening the body to connections that presuppose an entire assemblage, circuits, conjunctions, levels and thresholds, passages and distributions of intensity, and territories and deterritorializations measured with the craft of a surveyor."2
My response to the questions was to bring a varied set of musical sketches to the rehearsals that spun from the meticulously composed to almost nothing. The opening track, The Bonfire, The Sun, was an example of the latter, intending to give the band freedom to explore with just enough information to have a base to bounce off from: a relatively simple rhythmic idea and a simple bass riff.