In September 2019 I recorded a new solo double bass album - "Lys / Mørke" - at The Arctic Hideaway (www.thearctichideaway.com) in Northern Norway. The album was released February 14th 2020 worldwide, except Germany, Austria and Switzerland where it will be released in September 2020.
On February 3rd 2020 there was an exclusive pre-release event / world premiere in Carnegie Hall, New York.
Excerpt from album Liner Notes:
Immediately upon arrival I could feel the profound stillness of the island welcoming me back. Nearly two years had passed since my week-long visit in October 2017. The Arctic Hideaway is a remarkable place situated on a small island of the Fleinvær archipelago outside Bodø in Northern Norway. Built in a way that makes it feel almost like part of the natural surroundings on the island, The Arctic Hideaway erases the physical boundaries between outside and inside. Being here offers a unique kind of quiet isolation in combination the raw force, and the beauty, of nature. Winds of the Northern Atlantic Ocean sweep restlessly across the island all year round, getting stronger in early autumn as can be clearly heard throughout the album. In addition to the rapidly transforming weather conditions, the changes of natural light on the island—both in short term cycles during the day and long term cycles during the year—adds both colour and depth to the experience of living with nature.
As with my first solo double bass album "Elvesang"—which was recorded in an old wooden church close to where I grew up—the location of the recording has been of great importance to the musical output also on "Lys / Mørke". During my stay on Fleinvær in 2017 I spent countless hours walking around the island, photographing and filming different both natural and human made phenomena. I recorded several free improvisations while watching these photos and videos, making a kind of improvised music videos. These audiovisual sketches served as an important inspiration for the music on "Lys / Mørke". The music, even though inspired by many of these ideas, is to a large extent freely improvised. The two title tracks for example, both of them three piece cycles, are all free improvisations recorded in succession as they appear on the album.
My solo debut album "Elvesang" was released January 19th 2018 to great reviews in both Norwegian and international press:
"Atmospheric solo bass"
(Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times. Critics pick)
"... an album of profound beauty"
(John Kelman, allaboutjazz.com)
"Vulnerable, naked and intense"
(Eivind Strømstad, Hamar Arbeiderblad)
"Einen überaus kreativen solist"
(Klaus Halama, Sound-and-image.de)
You can listen to a couple of samples from the album on this page. To buy the album, see below.
In my solo work I focus on exploring the unique possibilities to create different sounds and textures on the double bass. The double bass has a rich and dynamic colour palette - from small, light percussive sounds to deep, growling roars. Some of the sounds can be both very soft or loud acoustically, whilst others have a more limited dynamical potential. Therefore, both in playing techniques and also in different amplifying methods / microphone placements, I search for the most useful ways to "orchestrate" the double bass as a solo instrument in order to achieve my musical ambitions.
The music in my solo work is always improvised, with a greater or lesser degree of planning / pre-composing. I find great inspiration in exploring the sounds from both Norwegian and other kinds of traditional music such as the sound of the Japanese Shakuhachi flute. However, in my work I do not try to imitate or copy directly the original music itself. Working with, amongst other things, overtones and mulitphonics, I rather try to implement some of it´s timbral characteristics into my own music.
THE ART OF BEING HUMAN - "Unique and deeply affecting music … More than a celebration of nature, Hole puts - both literally and figuratively - himself and the music in the very middle of it". Review from Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen
THE ART OF BEING HUMAN - «Unique and deeply affecting music … More than a celebration of nature, Hole puts - both literally and figuratively - himself and the music in the very middle of it. Thus, in addition to being a collection of fascinating pieces for solo double bass, the album has become a metephor for how human kind is a part of nature. If we loose nature, we loose much of what it means to be human»
Order / listen to "Lys / Mørke" here - out tomorrow Feb 14th!
"Lys / Mørke" - 2x CD / 2x Vinyl / digital - official worldwide release February 14th
( Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium release in September 20, tour dates coming up )
Order CD and Vinyl here:
(includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more)
Download booklet here:
"Lys / Mørke" reviewed in The New York City Jazz Record
“…and while you may not walk away with discernible melodies on the brain, you will have in your possession something far more indelible: a feeling that you have known the texture of a soul.”
Critics´ Pick in THE NEW YORK TIMES!
WORLD PREMIER / Exclusive pre-release for "LYS / MØRKE": Weill Recital Hall at CARNEGIE HALL, February 3rd 2020
Text below from www.carnegiehall.org:
Norwegian bassist Sigurd Hole makes his Carnegie Hall debut with a special appearance by professor of philosophy and music David Rothenberg (New Jersey Institute of Technology). The two musician-composers focus on the relationship between humankind and nature. Hole will premiere his meditative and minimalist solo bass album "Lys/Mørke" ("Light/Darkness") which was recorded on the arctic island Fleinvær in Northern Norway, while Rothenberg will make an introduction and perform his work "One Day We’ll Know Why Whales Sing.
NEW SINGLE DUGGDRÅPER OUT TODAY!
Today I am releasing the new single "Duggdråper". It is the first snippet from my upcoming solo double bass album "Lys / Mørke" (out February 2020). Listen here: https://open.spotify.com/track/25J3oGuHHsiuBEpB2pAyEv?si=gQ8rRO_2TZyqmHf...
Excerpt from press release:
Recorded at The Arctic Hideaway -- a quiet retreat situated on the arctic islands of Fleinvær in the northern part of Norway -- Norwegian bassist and composer Sigurd Hole´s new single Duggdråper (Dewdrops) is nothing short of an improvised masterpiece. It is the first snippet from Hole´s upcoming solo double bass album Lys/Mørke (Light/Darkness), to be released in February 2020.
In addition to Hole´s “big and understated sound” (NY Times), Duggdråper features a remarkable interplay with some of the natural sounds of the island. Fleinvær offers a unique combination of stillness and isolation, and the beauty and raw force of nature. Arctic winds of the Northern Atlantic sweep across the island all year around, getting ever stronger in early autumn as can be clearly heard in the September recording of Duggdråper.
Review of Moldejazz-concert in Jazziz (US)
"Bassist Sigurd Hole delivered a bold but meditative solo bass performance over the course of a hypnotic hour in the compact Radsalen room, dwelling in a landscape of enigmatic harmonics, impressionistic melodic logic and ambient aesthetics of his distinctive devising."