Tones of longing in disturbing times
“Hymns of Longing” is the second album in a trilogy by Kristiansen // Vemøy about our longing for the eternal and the divine.
The album is being released in a time with a dark backdrop of uncertainty about what the future will bring, and it has greater relevance than the two artists could ever have envisioned.
With trumpet (Jonas Kilmork Vemøy) and piano (Øyvind Kristiansen), the duo is inspired by the electronic music scene and by the expressive power of the Romantic composers, with musical aestheticism embracing both the clamorous and indistinct and the sublime and the lucid.
In an enchanting fusion of sacral music and ambient electronica, including sampling from recordings made between the wars, the sound of the past and the present merge in a powerful electronic soundscape, counterpointed by acoustic elements with a tint of jazz and classical music.
The album builds on old hymns and psalms describing the struggles and challenges we all experience in life, our suffering, longing, hope and consolation. Some familiar themes are implied, but never quoted completely. We clearly recognise, for example, the tones from “Lead Kindly Light”, “Nearer, My God, to Thee” and “Abide with Me”.
The mood shifts between drama and serenity, with subtle acoustic presentations and powerful dynamic peaks, enveloped by rich and rhythmical soundscapes.
Vemøy’s warm and refreshing trumpet and Kristiansen’s expressive touch and dynamic piano improvisations fill the melodies with a powerful wordless essence. In effect this is music seeking to create a space for comfort and reflection for today’s restless and yearning citizens.
Just as Kristiansen // Vemøy’s first album, “Hymns of Compassion”, released in 2021 to critical praise, “Hymns of Longing” has also been recorded and produced by Erik Hillestad in Kulturkirken Jakob and mixed by Martin Abrahamsen in Rainbow Studio.
Kristiansen // Vemøy:
Øyvind Kristiansen – piano, synthesizers & programming
Jonas Kilmork Vemøy – trumpet & electronica
The album is released by KKV