Cyber Punk. New Age. Ambient. Afro Beat. Techno. Stockhausen-a-go-go. Think of a few more definitions of electronic music and you can be sure Erik Wøllo (1961) has been involved in them.
His studio is called "Wintergarden". The surrounding landscape is exactly that. On clear, frosen days when the trees become
shapeless trolls and the fields become Arctic wastes. The barrenness is only a first impression. when you give your senses
time to observe the nuances, warmth is generated. The same is true of Wøllo's music. He is concerned with tonal, rhythmic
structures where basic musical logic is introduced into an electronic world of sound. His media are theatre, ballet, radio,
television, film, multimedia and records.
His list of works reveals this logic in unexpected, modem musical language, like Solar for tape and wind quintet (1986), Pre
Sense for two pianos, drums, clavinet and tape (1990) and Vidder for organ and cor anglais (1992). The music is integrated
into various elements of jazz, rock, classical and ethnic music, various rhythms and various moods. Make up your own name
for your auditive experience, and it will fit.
Natural forces, dreams and hopes. Such things as music is made of. This year's Wøllo emerges in the music for Fossegrimen
(The Waterfall Sprite), originally written for the theatre but now one third of an illustrated book of the same name with
pictures by internationally acclaimed Norwegian photographer Knut Bry, and texts by poet Eldgrim Springgard. A book for the
senses comprising words, pictures and music about water and energy, where water is the basis of all life. Senses are
synonymous with life, and the senses from Fossegrimen do not distract each other, but fullfill each other to achieve the
experience you put a name to yourself.
Erik Wøllo, recording artist, is just as diverse, multi-faceted and searching as Erik Wøllo, composer and arranger. His last two
CDs Images of Light (Origo Sound, 1990) and Solstice (Origo Sound, 1992), were also released in the USA. These and four
other solo productions have been distributed in Europe. The recording artist is, of course, not only that. He is a maestro of
the guitars and synthesizer keyboard, the sounds and the knobs, he is the architect who finely tunes structures that are
immediately apparent at the first hearing. When you hear, you see, and it is not certain that you hear and see the same
thing each time. That is how they work, these Structures and sound compositions based on precise knowledge and a love of
what this knowledge can achieve.
Then comes the Surprise: a warm, solitary obo in metallic spirals of sound; the saxophone quartet floating airily,
rhythmically; the electric Violin where the starry veil of the Milky Way reaches Out to new galaxies in Northern Lights Alap.
Wøllo's electronic landscapes are often mentioned in connection with international figures like Brian Eno, Holger Czukay and
Steve Roach. His music is organic and minimalistic at the same time, and you don't need to listen for long before you find
out that this performer's and composer's development in no way detracts from the mood. Warmth and Poetry permeate the
richness of detail, which never breaks with the architecture of the composition. Here beauty is set in a binding system, in
contrast with much new age and meditation music that may seem to lack commitment and consistency, Even in the music's
darkest, most experimental moments, the lyrical base shines through. Warmth and poetry. Even in a Wintergarden studio in Winter Land the geographical temperature has nothing to do with the humanity.
Curious? You should be, if you still nurture dreams and hopes. And no one can do anything about natural forces except