Eirik Breivik Minde - bruker både elektroniske og analoge virkemidler for å manipulere klangen i flygel og kirkeorgel.
John Derek Bishop - sjonglerer soniske rom og ideer med sin live-sampling.
Inge Weatherhead Breistein - har med seg både sax og modulær elektronikk til å male sin del av lerretet.
HC Dalgaard - trakterer den perkusive enden av spekteret, med flytende overgang til strengeleik, på elgitar og trommer.
Håkon Holmås - tekniker og aktivt medvirkende til forming av lyd via digitale løsninger.
Imagine you arrive at a church to experience music. But there is no dedicated seat for you to sit in, or exact time the concert starts, you can arrive whenever you want to within the opening hours. You are told to go search for the music and experience the space for yourself. The musicians are spread out, the lightening is moody and at times a dancer will appear, floating through the room.
CONTEXT // MERCY is about sound creating spaces, sound resonating in spaces, sound mirroring spaces and sound reflecting heritage and experience. It is about exploring and utilising the enormous potential that lies in connecting with the context of artistic experiences.
CONTEXT // MERCY is based on several elements that are important to me as an improvisational musician and as a church musician. The idea is to have improvising artists play together, based on loosely arranged themes, spread out in a physical space. They can hear each other trough headsets, but not necessarily see each other. We call the segments of music «chapters» and the whole experience a «musical installation». You, as an audience, are encouraged to move around and explore the installation, to partake in creating your own experience of the material presented. To vary your perspective from close up to far away, to study the details of what is going on. There is even a station where you can listen to individual tracks through speakers or headset, if you want to really put it under the microscope.
You can choose to sit down and listen, look at the beautiful windows, or close your eyes. Maybe you want to lie down on the floor and just enjoy the acoustics? Or you can go hunting for the other musicians, study the feet of the organ-player. Maybe there is a spot where the sax sounds completely different?
The musicians have a great deal of freedom in creating their own expression. The themes are mainly taken from the nordic folk music present in the current day book of chorals. This is in keep with the idea of taking something known, with old roots, and turning it into a completely new experience, to make you look at something you know in a new way, hopefully rewarding, way. As the project progresses we might put any material through the CONTEXT // MERCY-machine. Any kind of music can be mangled in a respectful manner using this model, coming out as something new.
«Habitualization devours objects, clothes, furniture, one's wife, and the fear of war. If all the complex lives of many people go on unconsciously, then such lives are as if they had never been». - Shklovsky With CONTEXT // MERCY we try to get you to experience known spaces in new ways.
An important part of the project is to challenge the concept of church music, and the traditional concert format, while respecting the heritage of both the music and the building. We have tried to remove the ordinary concert-experience and replace it with a sort of installation, encompassing different qualities of experiences, like for example behind-the-scenes-type access, or open spaces for meditation and contemplation.
Church spaces has a lot of baggage, for each of us. They have a history, acoustics, decorations, and they have purpose and heritage that colours anything entering it. It can be opinionated, or so it might seem. Most of us have strong emotional moments in our personal history tied to churches, like baptism, weddings and funerals. And it's a room that is continuously doing its balancing act between being a cultural scene and a house of God.
We use many tools to achieve our «enstrangement» of known materials, for example live-sampling of the church organ, variations between acoustic sounds and heavy use of electronic effects in the overall artistic output. It is also worth noticing that also in the use of electronic amplification we are highlighting the contextual exploration. This is achieved by having the amplified sounds also originate at specific locations throughout the room, as opposed to the traditional stereo-PA up front that very clearly defines the direction of the audience focus.
After a while, if you stay long enough, all goes quiet.