Matt Burt/Eirik Hegdal/Dog & Sky/Alpaca Ensemble - Arrival Hall
Arrival Hall 180G LP x 2 (LTD 300 copies on Gold coloured vinyl)
Cover Illustrations, photos and art direction by Lasse Marhaug.
Live photos by Pekka Stokke.
Eirik Hegdal / Matt Burt
Dog & Sky / Alpaca Ensemble
This piece is my second collaboration with poet Matt Burt.
The first one was commissioned by Trondheim Chamber Music Festival in 2008, and was released as Alpaca Ensemble’s album Elevator in 2010.
Although it’s our second collaboration in this format, we have collaborated together for many years in Dog & Sky; a Norwegian post rock/punk poetry-group based in Trondheim. All our three studio albums have been released on Crispin Glover Records: Lhasa Express (2008), Denver (2013) and Death’s Got Talent (2017), as well as several singles and EP’s.
I have had the pleasure of working with the Alpaca Ensemble on several pieces and albums, such as Skråpanel (2006), Tapet Tapet (2007), Elevator (with Burt) (2010), Moving Slow (2014) and Mekatonia in Concert (2017).
This piece, commissioned by nyMusikk Trondheim in 2012, is written for a group of eleven open-minded musicians from different genres, seeking to make every 'voice' in the ensemble unique; by allowing room for each performer's special qualities, personal expression and creativity.
The music, like the musicians, challenges and expands the boundaries of different genres. This is program-music colored by lyricist Matt Burt. Burt is a virtuoso improvising poet who manages to capture our interest and attention even when talking about the most mundane daily situations, and the lyrics for Arrival Hall are constantly evolving.
Dog & Sky got its name from the equalizing perspective of the great plains never ending prairie: A small airplane flying over the green summer patchwork of endless Midwestern farm fields. A farm dog slinking along in the gravel next to a barn below. To the airplane, the dog is small dot. Not even that: A dot's dot. To the dog, the plane is pretty much the same. Dog & Sky is also the woman at the party who understands it's a trick -- it's an executioner's feast and she politely and discretely works to take her leave. Dog & Sky is radical equanimity. Dog & Sky is the floating fruit in the punch bowl and that pineapple buoying lifeguard ring for those who fall in.
Like an archeologist, Eirik Hegdal carefully scraps away the caked on layered mud of my pubic poetry and elegantly excavates its pelvis humping skeletal remains into an almost coherent display which I would never managed without him. I don't know where he got the patience. And although I don't know him well my impression is this: Like the metal ball in one of those wooden maze tabletop games, he rolls on without falling into one the many holes of alcohol and drug addiction like to so other musicians. I consider that a miracle in itself.
Every bit as equal to walking on water. I'm sure there are many who will find it irritating that I even bring it up.
I was also asked to talk about the text. My reflex is to say that any text speaks for itself. But the people asking won't let me off the hook that easily. Insecurity has infinite forms. The askers and the answerers. The naked lunch was always carry out. Everything is rewarmed until we examine our relationship to microwave ovens. Texts, for the most part, come out of writing. Writing, for the most part, comes out of habit. But habit, always, comes out of confusion. I'm sure you hoped for something more.
Dog & Sky
Matt Burt: spoken word
Eirik Hegdal: soprano-/baritone saxophone/clarinet
Truls Lorentzen: electric guitar
Michael Francis Duch: electric- & double bass
Vigdis Sjelmo: drums
Bergmund Skaslien: viola
Stig Førde Aarskog: clarinet/bass clarinet
Ole Jørgen Melhus: trombone
Else Bø: piano
Daniel Formo: hammond organ
Tor Haugerud: drums/percussion/glückenspiel
Recorded live at Teaterhuset Avant Garden by Tor Breivik, December 15th 2012.