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He titles of the 13 tracks on The Quiet Cormorant read like the titles of a collection of short stories, or of miniature paintings on the wall of a gallery: 'Island Movies', 'Sunshine - After Fog', 'Where Did You Go?', 'Current Tides', 'The Still'. If there is a journey here it's a deeply personal one for Per Oddvar, but it also becomes a personal one for the listener. This idea of 'playing with time' means it's fluid enough to find ourselves inside the music too. Per Oddvar wrote much of the music in quiet, creative solitude in The Arctic Hideaway on a coastline near Bod in northern Norway where the Atlantic ocean, the light, the sounds of birds and the sense of space and distance become an artist's palette. (The track 'Srvr Major Manor' is named after the Hideaway's own island.) In his head were the sounds of his fellow musicians in the trio. Helge Lien he describes as having "a unique way of incorporating a Norwegian sound in his playing", while he talks about Torben's phrasing and detail, his unbelievable control over his saxophone. Audiences, too, perceive so much thoughtfulness in Helge's playing, a quiet passion as he leans in to every note, while Torben's sound is profoundly songlike, the breath mattering as much as the notes. Joining the trio on two tracks is the guitarist Hedvig Mollestad, another remarkable presence in Norwegian music in recent years. "Hedvig is such a great musician" says Per Oddvar "I like the rock-reminiscence it gives to the record as a whole". Certainly it's far more than a guest appearance from Hedvig. When 'Love, Peace and Currywurst' powers on to the album's landscape it's like the crash of the oceans wave onto the beach, a hymn to Nature, a party on the sands of time. In Norwegian mythology the cormorant is seen as a good omen, a strong, powerful bird that listens, and knows when the time is right. Maybe what we discover here is that Per Oddvar himself is the Quiet Cormorant of the title.
1.1 The Quiet Cormorant 1.2 Waltz for Hire 1.3 Brown House (By the Sea) 1.4 The Njalla Suite 1.5 Island Movies 1.6 Love, Peace and Currywurst 1.7 The Still 1.8 SRVR Major Manor 1.9 A Ballad in Popular Keys