Probably most familiar for his work in the electronica group Jaga Jazzist, Norwegian composer Lars Horntveth is also active in projects that incorporate classical instrumentation. His latest ‘solo’ CD, Kaleidoscopic, uses the Latvian National Orchestra as its principal performers. Their acoustic instruments are altered and reframed using techniques from Horntveth’s alt-electronic background. The CD has already received acclaim abroad – it’s been nominated for the Norwegian equivalent of the Grammy. The recording is released here in the US on Tuesday.
Unusual even for concert music CDs, the material is presented as a single track, 37 minutes long. However, its title is apt, as the kaleidoscopic nature of the material means that there are several subsections, each presenting a different shade of the constant sonic argumentation between machine-made and acoustic sounds.
Horntveth’s music is attractively appointed, incorporating minimalist techniques common both to contemporary concert music and IDM loops. The confluence of these two traditions and the episodic nature of the score would be dangerous stumbling blocks for many a composer. But Kaleidoscopic is a skillfully crafted, appealing creation.