Story: 5/28

Open music player

Jexper Holmen

Oort Cloud

Dacapo Records, 2010

Beyond the solar system

I sat with composer Jexper Holmen, accordionist Frode Andersen and Dacapo’s director Henrik Rørdam at the Dacapo offices and had a long talk about Oort Cloud. Jexper and Frode entertained me with descriptions of a piece of music that was unrelenting, incredibly difficult to play and – like the universe – ‘doesn’t give a damn about you’.

Composed for two accordions and a saxophone, the music is nearly an hour long and the musicians are pushed to their absolute limits. The accordionists have to use all their strength to draw out the bellows of their instruments completely and the saxophonist must breathe in and out at the same time while playing multiple simultaneous notes. They described the music as ‘chaotic relentlessness’.

We talked about letting the graphic design echo the idea that the audience is not important and came up with the idea of filling the cover – in fact the whole 24-page booklet inside and all surfaces of the jewel case – with a  random code. The listener, who was otherwise used to finding an informative essay accompanying the music, would be confronted by pages and pages of gibberish. Henrik expressed his concerns, but allowed himself to be carried along by our enthusiasm.

One classical music reviewer wrote ‘If prizes were awarded on the basis of user-unfriendliness, this CD would be in line for a Pulitzer.’ Success!

 

This music player streams through Spotify. To hear the full work, install the Spotify application and choose it as your default music player in your browser preferences.