Norwegian sound artist Lasse Marhaug transcends his noise roots | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Norwegian sound artist Lasse Marhaug transcends his noise roots 

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click to enlarge Lasse Marhaug

Lasse Marhaug

Seth Tisue

Though he’s often tagged a noise musician, Norwegian sound artist Lasse Marhaug has proven to be much more than that over a career that spans two decades plus. He’s clearly enamored by abstraction and loudness, but he’s also developed keen listening abilities that have made him a regular collaborator with some of the world’s greatest free improvisers—and none of this is to overlook his fascination with exploring how sound changes in different environments. Marhaug is a trusted partner of drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, and together they’ve made a pile of disparate recordings with folks like keyboardist Jim O’Rourke and multi-instrumentalist Otomo Yoshihide—but he’s always been game to tangle with horn players as well. On the 40-minute slugfest Close Up (for Abbas Kiarostami) (Audiographic) Marhaug matches the high-intensity honks and snorts of Ken Vandermark, while on Generasjon Lindemenn (KBA) he forges a writhing series of hisses, scrapes, and static that take part in a quicksilver dance with the striated machinations of Norwegian reedist Kristoffer Berre Alberts. Marhaug’s superb new album On the Silver Globe (Sofa) is a collaboration with Norwegian guitarist Kim Myhr that favors richly textured ambience and subtle crunching. His astute feel is also apparent on recordings with cellist Okkyung Lee and singer Stine Janvin Motland, where context radically transforms acoustic sounds. For his first visit to Chicago in nearly a decade he’ll premiere a new work combining voice, objects, synthesizer, and field recordings of Saltstraumen, a small Norwegian strait with one of the world’s strongest tidal currents. Also included will be a piece from 2016 in which his electronics are combined with the work of Motland, tuba player Martin Taxt, and the improvising trio Sult.   v

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