Within crafty soundscapes Holsen’s unique gentle melodies emerge to surface and go hand in hand with Cassiers’ fragile bits of songs and words, offering the listener a lead through an etheric dreamworld.
Holsen & Cassiers is the new duo of Norwegian trumpeter Hilde Marie Holsen and Belgian vocalist Lynn Cassiers. On January 2023, they will release their first album – Walking In Circles – via Stroom records and Matomah records.
Blending acoustic instruments with live processed electronics, Holsen & Cassiers create inventive soundscapes in which elaborate noises as easily melt together as fluently as they can explode in totally different directions.
This new project by Norwegian trumpeter Hilde Marie Holsen and Belgian vocalist Lynn Cassiers saw the light in September 2017, when both artists were invited as representatives for their respective countries at a Match&Fuse-event in Dublin. Given the opportunity to work together for five days, their collaboration felt extremely natural and resulted in a great success on the night of performance.
Hilde and Lynn immediately felt connected in a sense of common aesthetics and ways of creating improvised music, almost effortlessly transforming a single instrument into a world of ambient sounds. Along with their distinctive electronic set-ups, both artists quickly discovered each other’s musical personas, which were solidly built during their (solo) careers over the years. One year after their first acquaintance in Dublin, the duo went on another artistic retreat, this time in Oslo, which was concluded with a performance in the Fritt Fall concert series at the Oslo Kulturhuset.
The music of Holsen & Cassiers results in a fascinating sound magma that constructs itself starting from nothing but a breath, a simple noise or gesture. Quickly, these initial ideas transform themselves into the most enchanting melodic textures. Within their crafty soundscapes, Holsen’s unique gentle melodies emerge to surface and go hand in hand with Cassiers’ fragile bits of songs and words, offering the listener a lead through an etheric dream world. It’s a moving and poetic journey that can sound at once coldly electronic, seemingly abstract, and at once heartwarmingly human.
On Walking In Circles:
“This one’s good – imagine Arve Henriksen jamming with Bohren, Broadcast and Lasse Marhaug. Dark, sure, but with a folkloric charm that’s impossible to ignore…..Walking in Circles is the duo’s first recorded material and showcases the sound they’ve now spent a few years sculpting; if you’ve heard either artist’s solo albums (like Holsen’s brilliant “Lazuli” or Cassiers’ smokey “Nacht Slakje”) you’ll be able to guess the general direction, but their collaborative sound is deeper and dreamier than anything they’ve produced on their own. … Massive recommendation (Boomkat )
“…This album meanders like a lost traveler, or a book by Sebald. Full of echoes, the album becomes spacey and, thanks to the crackling soundscapes, sudden twists and processed vocals, it seems to belong to an Arab country that has not yet been invented. Or, in other words, the STROOM label is doing it again.” (Gonzo)
“…the further one goes into the architecture of listening, the more it is colored with supreme intimacy and sweet closeness. Lynn Cassiers: voice, objects electronics and Hilde Marie Holsen: trumpet and electronics have the gift of embrace. Seemingly distant they come to be intimate friends thanks to their intense and direct expression, concealed behind an elaborate sound construction that comes to support your slowing breath.” (Rockerilla)
On Holsen’s Solo work:
«The end result is music that is uniquely individual and highly distinctive. Forget any comparisons, Holsen is without parallel. Even more so than Ask did, Lazuli signals the arrival of a bright new star.»
– John Eyles, All About Jazz
«But the album’s depth and seriousness means it projects inwards rather than outwards. Even on headphones at full volume, you want to listen harder, to follow the trailing off sounds as they sink lower into the night.»
– Nina Power, The Wire
On Cassiers» Solo work:
“…One of the most remarkable voices of our Improv Scene…”(Enola magazine, read on: ‘press’)
“…Cassiers is brilliant. She really couldn’t care less about genres and vested expectations: she creates her own sonic universe in which avant-garde pop (think Laurie Anderson), traditional jazz and free improv meet, in a wonderful mixture that avoids all the traps of doing this..”(freeJazzBlog)