Vilde and Inga ‘Makrofauna’ (ECM) 3/5

Vilde-IngaIn recent years ECM has regularly found time and space to champion new up and coming artists of talent and in this particular case, the two musicians are both Norwegian. Violinist Vilde Sandve Alnaes and double bassist Inga Margrete Aas to give them their full names are young conservatory trained musicians who in some respects are a trip back in time to the experimental New York loft scene of the 1970s (and in the process conjur up also the pioneering innovations of Arthur Russell) and this is certainly reflected in the non-conventional manner in which the duo play their respective instruments. There is a highly improvisational feel to the music which, at certain times, gives the impression of barely sketched out pieces. Indeed the compositions in general are relatively short in length with ‘Sarand’ by far the longest weighing in a seven and a half minutes. It is difficult to fully appreciate the contribution made by the duo in written from since the sounds they make are those of everyday life and beyond and it is a musical voyage of discovery. The title track hints at early music with the use of viola de gamba solos, yet unlike early music Vilde and Inga take the sounds in an altogether different direction. Interestingly, the inclusion of brief vignettes adds to a cohesive whole. If the music by the duo on this debut for ECM may on first hearing be difficult to fathom for some, with repeated listens it becomes increasingly accessible. Vilde and Inga are names you should ignore at your peril. It will be fascinating to chart the progress in the years to come. Tim Stenhouse