Despite his many followers, nobody plays a trumpet quite like the plaintively expressive Norwegian Arve Henriksen, the man whose inspirations are flautists as much as they are ambient brass stars such as Nils Petter Molvaer. This new album contains 10 sublime reflections on religious sites and buildings. If it just represented diplomatic awe around holy places, it could have ended up as spiritually upmarket mood music, but Henriksen's real priorities are the untapped sonic possibilities of the trumpet, as well as ideology-free meditation.
Places of Worship signals trumpeter and composer Arve Henriksen's return to Rune Grammophon and furthers his collaboration with both Jan Bang and Erik Honoré. Here his experimentations with sound, space, and texture offer listening environments that reflect various sacred spaces the world over, hence its title. While these tracks are impossible to separate from the influences of Jon Hassell's Fourth World Music explorations or the more murky moodscapes of Nils Petter Molvær, they are also more than a few steps removed from them.
The world’s new favorite trumpet player returns to Rune Grammofon with Places of Worship. Followed by experimental ambient, modern classical, and jazz communities alike, this Norwegian shaman of sound bridges the gaps of styles and forms with his unmistakably unique control of the instrument. Arve Henriksen doesn’t simply play the trumpet, the brass is merely an extension of his breath.
The debt to Miles Davis's ballad oeuvre is definitely on-point on this release by trumpet virtuoso Arve Henriksen, who winds his way through this meditative collection of spaces. The title refers to the atmospheres entered into by Henriksen, who augments the Norwegian stillness and brooding with injections of Indian and Celtic references. While there are periods where the music gets dangerously close to new age textural noodling, the electronics and orchestration, combined with Henriksen's masterful technique on trumpet — from brash to sounding as cloase to a flute as possible — saves the album from ambient redundancy.