Arches – With All Your Mysteries In The Open Air

 

 

1. One (12:49)
2. Two (6:25)
3. Three (4:36)
4. Four (15:12)

· Fredrik Rasten: acoustic guitar, e-bows
· Jon Heilbron: double bass

All music by Fredrik Rasten & Jon Heilbron
Recorded by Adam Asnan at Ausland, Berlin on 7/7/2017
Mixed by Adam Asnan
Mastered by Werner Dafeldecker
Cover art by Simen Engen Larsen
Graphic design by László Szakács
Produced by László Juhász
Thanks to Derek Shirley & Adam Asnan

Released: August 2019 / first edition of 300 cds
Direct purchase: Bandcamp / Discogs

 


 

Reviews ↓

 

“Recently I was very pleasantly surprised by a disc by Jon Heilbron who played the Bontempi organ on a disc with some great drone music. As I had not heard of him before, I was not aware that he is (also?) a double bass player and as such he is a member of Arches, a duo he has with Fredrik Rasten on acoustic guitar and e-bows. They played a concert in Ausland, Berlin in July 2017, recorded and mixed by Adam Asnan and now released as a four-piece disc. While Heilbron may play different instruments, judging by the two releases I heard containing his music, I’d say he’s a man who loves his drones. On the Bontempi one, it may have been a question pressing down the keys and holding them, here it is all bit fluid; the bow goes over the strings making slow, majestic gestures on those strings while the e-bow on the guitar of Rasten provides a more continuous, sine-wave like drones. The music is like two paths; the curly one by Heilbron and the straight lines by Rasten. It is quite thoughtful music, almost solemn in approach. I was thinking of Alvin Lucier, had not Heilbron being using the bow that much, but it surely shares a similar sound world there, especially in the slowest of the four pieces, which is entitled Four. This is an excellent disc, merging a more or less modern classical music approach with improvised music and that works very well here.” / Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly, 3 September 2019

 

“Inexhaustible Editions has two new and excellent releases that are well worth your time: Arches (Fredrik Rasten, acoustic guitar and e-bows; Jonathan Heilbron, double bass) – With All Your Mysteries In The Open Air. Four duos. Although both instruments are arco throughout (or e-bow), resulting in long, slowly shifting lines, I don’t get so much of an impression of ‘drone’, more like attenuated versions of string adagios or marches funèbres. Dark, compelling, super-subtle and gorgeous. Bruno Duplant – Étendues Silencieuses. Eleven pages of a score realized by Taku Sugimoto (acoustic and electric guitars) and Minami Saeki (voice). Each performer separately determined how to interpret the scores (text? graphic? I’m not certain) then played them in several open air, park settings. As one might expect, quiet, serene with only mild currents of disturbance, the ambient sounds filtering in – water, dogs, children. Sugimoto and Saeki play with extreme sensitivity, a pleasure to experience.” / Brian Olewnick, Facebook, 27 December 2019

 

“Fredrik Rasten is the Norwegian guitarist who gave us his Six Moving Guitars set not long ago, a semi-composed piece which involved players moving their bodies around the room with guitars in it, resulting in a slow set of music about which I’m still undecided. Rasten also strummed with Oker, a Norwegian four-piece who work hard to elude conventional categories of jazz and free improvisation. Rasten is here today playing with Jon Heilbron, and the duo call themselves Arches for the album with All Your Mysteries In The Open Air.

Heilbron is an Australian maestro who usually plays the double bass, but did a long-form drone thing with chord organs for the Russian label Intonema which we noted in early 2019. Today’s offering was all done with acoustic guitar, sometimes played with e-bows by Rasten, and the double bass of Heilbron, and it’s a slow deep and rich droneroo. If the two players share any common ground, it’s that they both declare themselves as very active listeners – meaning I suppose they pay close attention to what the other fellow is doing, but also to the sounds all around them. There may also be an interest in simply exploring tones, long forms, and seeing where the activity leads. Should you wish to join them in this journey of discovery, you won’t feel left out; the recordings, done by Adam Asnan, is so up-close and personal that it’s like being face to face with a giant bear, intent of giving you a hug to last you all winter. A listener could drown in these deep pools of sonic richness, if they weren’t so limpid and crystalline, like a lake that’s gradually being filled with sachets of pink powdered gelatin.

To further direct you into the right frame of mind, the cover art features serene photos of the ocean, but far from being picture-postcards you might want to send home from your relaxing sea cruise, these are art photographs which emphasise the texture of the waves and the subdued light that falls on that marine blanket of nervous cotton. I can see I was a bit withering in my assessment of Rasten’s earlier piece, but this one is somehow more gripping, even if it is very slow-moving; somehow they must be hitting the right notes, creating the right vibrations in the air. Unresolved non-chords create a state of perpetual expectation, but there’s also a lot of sentiment and emotion buried in these austere notes, and when you get the right combination of harmonic astringency, it’s tremendously affecting.

This particular label has a very high success rate; not sure if we’ve ever heard a single disappointing release from them.” / Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, 26 January 2020

 

“Contrebasse pour Jon Heilbron et guitare acoustique et e-bows pour Fredrik Rasten. Recorded by Adam Asnan. Mixed by Werner Dafeldecker. Musique de drones, de notes graves tenues à l’archet en mouvement lent d’une belle intériorité ponctué de silences, l’e-bow vibre discrètement de une corde de la guitare. Effet multi-phonique sur deux cordes avec une légère inclinaison et léger changement de registre. Illusion d’une harmonium céleste. Démarche minimale bien calibrée. Plénitude du son, vibration de l’air ambiant. One, Two, Three, Four. Quatre pièces de 12:49, 6:25, 4:36 et 15:12. Le frottement très lent soutenu des cordes de la contrebasse sur une seule note dans le grave laisse poindre une hauteur supplémentaire au-dessus et les deux sons s’interpénètrent suspendus dans le silence du studio. Un accord irrésolu s’insinue et persiste tout en se renouvelant. Sa perception semble une illusion. Archétype du minimalisme ou goût du dénuement musical, cette musique plane dans l’espace et on perçoit très lentement une altération – métamorphose ténue dans le rapport entre chaque élément de l’agrégat stationnaire. Le timbre de la contrebasse à l’archet est remarquable et chaque son s’agrège au précédent avec un vrai savoir-faire. Inexhaustible Editions est un label pointu qui par le truchement de ses productions très pointues offre un panorama des différentes options musicales radicales et celle-ci est un remarquable échantillon de la démarche ultra-minimaliste qui nous fait découvrir les relations secrètes entre deux sons quasi identiques alternant une ou deux notes soutenues en permanence. Grave et hypnotique.” / Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg, Orynx-improv’andsounds, 20 March 2020

 


 

Radio plays ↓

 

· Godbeni Imperializem at Radio Študent, Ljubljana, 8 August 2019