MARHAUG / ASHEIM Grand Mutation CD
Lasse Marhaug and Nils Henrik Asheim started their collaboration in 2004 at the All Ears festival in Oslo, Norway. This turned out as a fruitful meeting between two musicians of very different backgrounds. Marhaug's feedback to Asheim's organ sounds in the Oslo concert started to reflect how the work was to develop. Asheim is working with half-stops and subtle playing techniques that create multiple layers of sound with a vibrating or fluctuating character, as well as with the power of the full organ. Marhaug's tools belong to the world of sine wave oscillators and noise generators. The aim was to set a sonic frame into which they could both gradually tune.
The two musicians met again in June 2006 just before Oslo Cathedral (which contains Asheim's favourite instrument) closed down for a few years of renovation work. One day of soundcheck and musical work and one night of recording produced an improvised flow of one hour, afterwards structured into five tracks.
The recording was made in a live setup on the organ loft. Nils Henrik Asheim was sitting at the organ console and Lasse Marhaug right behind, playing his electronics through a loudspeaker system in order to make the electronics and the acoustic organ sound blend as close to each other as possible. Sound engineer Thomas Hukkelberg used two custom-built condenser mics for the organ, two Shure KSM 44 for the electronics and two Neumann U87 by the altar for the ambience. He used a Millennia Media HV-3 preamp and an Apogee AD-16X converter. The recordings were made at night to avoid unwanted ambient city sounds. The final mix was made by Marhaug in January 2007.