Hedvig Mollestad & Trondheim Jazz Orchestra share ‘On The Horizon, Part 2’


Hedvig Mollestad & Trondheim Jazz Orchestra will release Maternity Beat on November 18 via Rune Grammofon. The group shared the propellant “All Flights Cancelled” to announce the sprawling double album last month and is releasing “On the Horizon, Part 2” today.

“On the Horizon, Part 2” unleashes the full power of the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, whose jumbled dissonance and frenetic rhythm evoke the stormy winds of conflict and societal upheaval that can shatter family ties. These heartbreaking moments are offset by some of the most touching music in Mollestad’s catalog.

Hedvig Mollestad says Maternity Beat is her most ambitious work to date, and that’s not a proclamation to be taken lightly. Mollestad, after all, has been one of Norway’s most adventurous and hardworking musicians since the Molde International Jazz Festival named her “Young Jazz Talent of the Year” in 2009.

Recorded with the 12-piece Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (who have previously worked with legends like Chick Corea and Joshua Redman), Maternity Beat is a real career milestone. As well as encompassing the entire evolution of his sound to date, it offers deeply personal meditations on the nature of family and pressing issues of social justice. Maternity Beat is available for pre-order in several formats here.

The sonic and emotional reach of the Maternity Beat released by Rune Grammofon forced Mollestad to wear many hats: guitar explorer, composer, arranger, improviser, collaborator and, as the title suggests, mother. This last role serves as the central theme of the album. This represents a new direction for her. As Mollestad points out, “I used to be reluctant to talk about gender and motherhood in relation to what I was doing as a musician.”

Around 2019 – when the Molde International Jazz Festival and Midtnorsk Jazzsenter originally commissioned the creation of Maternity Beat – Mollestad felt compelled to compose a much more personal new work that weighed in on her own privileged experiences of parenthood and education against the harsh political realities that were unfolding before. his. Let’s not forget: this was a time when graphic images of migrant families drowning at sea flooded international news. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, which made it even clearer how the economic systems in which we are all complicit are tearing apart far less fortunate humanity.

“I think it’s such a stark contrast — such an irony, how we can be so loving to our loved ones, teaching them how each person is equally worth,” Mollestad says. “And yet the lives we sustain support systems that prevent all humans from achieving equality and worth.”

Jazz has witnessed a revolutionary explosion of creativity in recent years. The rise of musicians interested in cutting-edge forms of fusion, spiritual jazz, and electronic-based improvisation has infused the genre with an urgency relevant to our tumultuous times. Mollestad – who compares the making of Maternity Beat to the nervous thrill of “jumping off a cliff” – embodies precisely the kind of daring that makes her not only an essential leader of the Norwegian jazz scene, but also a key voice in the world avant-garde of jazz. .

Listen to the new single here:

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Henry R. Wright