Thing of the day, a rather refined thing of the day today – Kasper Bjørke Quartet are set to release ‘The Fifty Eleven Project’, the album is out on 19th October as a 3x clear 180 gram vinyl box, a download and a stream, via Kompakt. At the same time eleven art films, one for each of the album’s eleven compositions, will be installed as a video exhibition in a gallery in Copenhagen, from the 12th until the 21st October in collaboration with prxjects.com, here’s a taste of the music, Thing of The Day you might say….
Here’s the trailer, not much of a trailer, but hey…
Here’s all the hype and blurb or whatever you wish to call it, the lazy cut ‘n paste from the press release that just came in should you wish to read it..
On October 19th Kompakt presents a new LP and audiovisual venture by Danish producer Kasper Bjørke and close cohorts. Epic and in length but always captivating, ‘The Fifty Eleven Project’ is an entirely ambient concept album, that interprets and evokes the emotional rollercoaster Kasper experienced, from his cancer diagnosis and throughout the five years of regular check-ups. The week of the album release marks the 2nd anniversary of him getting the all-clear.
Prior to being diagnosed, two completely unconnected palm readers (one in Miami, 2002 and one in Copenhagen, 2006) both predicted Kasper would become sick before he turned 35, but they also both said he’d be well again. He was diagnosed in November 2011 and operated on less than a week after.
“Just two weeks before my 35th birthday, doctors discovered a tumour during a routine scan. The prognosis was positive, but the anxiety that accompanied the diagnosis was incredibly difficult to navigate.
I felt this urge to document what I was experiencing through music, but at the same time, I didn’t want to begin recording before my final hospital examination; not until I knew for certain I was going to be okay. On October 16th 2016, after five long years of regular CT scans, x-rays and blood samples, I left department 50 11 for the last time.
I wanted to document the gamut of feelings – both light and dark – using these long instrumental compositions as the narrative, and the track titles as a cronological guideline. The album chronicles a journey from discovery of the tumour, to the operation and frequent examinations; from feeling a beacon of love and light in the birth of my son (in the same hospital), to finally leaving that waiting room for the last time.
The project has been a therapeutic way of me processing the diagnosis, the constant fear of relapse and the light in being healed. Throughout the process I used the music to fall asleep to — and as a sonic space to meditate in and contemplate my journey. My hope is that others; healthy, ill or next of kin, will be able to use ‘The Fifty Eleven Project’ in that same way.”
The base of the album was composed on vintage analogue synthesizers, reverbs, echo and sequencers – using the computer solely as a recording device – by Kasper and synth wizard Claus Norreen, in the latter’s Copenhagen studio.
The violins, violas and cellos are composed and played by the Italian composer Davide Rossi, who has also worked with Ennio Morricone, Jon Hopkins, Röyksopp, The Verve and Goldfrapp.
The piano parts are composed and played by Danish musician Jakob Littauer (of Kompakt labelmates Jatoma) on an old upright piano in a studio, and on a Steinway Grand Piano in the concert hall at the Royal Danish Music Conservatorium.
Despite the very personal theme and story behind the album, Kasper wanted to acknowledge the indespensable contributions from these three musician friends, by crediting the project to a quartet.
From Max Richter’s ‘SLEEP’, Hannah Peel’s ‘Mary Casio: Journey To Cassiopeia’, to much of Brian Eno’s ‘Music For Installations’, ‘The Fifty Eleven Project’ continues in a rich vein of work by contemporary composers which explores a situation/condition, and is made with functionality and healing in mind.
But whether heard with knowledge of the deeply imbued concept, or listened to unaware and purely on surface value, the album works equally well. Bjørke’s ordeal and the potential for resonating with and offering alleviation to others gives this record depth, nuance and substance, but it’s also something that simply sounds great.
This ambitious and brave feat of electroacoustic ambience, contemporary classical and minimalism references greats including Vangelis, Peguin Café Orchestra, Nils Frahm, Global Communications, Johann Johannsson, Jean Michelle Jarre, Biosphere and Hans Zimmer.
However, this darkly beautiful but ultimately empowering and salvative odyssey sits confidently alongside its teachers. Exquisitely recorded, arranged and produced, it twinkles like stars in the cosmos and is expansively infinite, but also vaporous like phosphorescent cosmic dust. In other places it’s dramatic and pensive, like an impending one-way exile into a black hole; the album suggests being lost in space, as metaphor for being lost in the journey of cancer.
The visual side of ‘The Fifty Eleven Project’ is made in collaboration with the culture platform Prxjects.com and acclaimed LA based artist/filmmaker/photographer Justin Tyler Close, who has created art films for each of the album’s 11 tracks – plus one music video, including clips from all 11 films. The 11 films will be assimilated into a video exhibition at Klub in Copenhagen from 12th – 21st October. The ambition is that the installation will tour Europe and the US in 2019.
The album cover art is created by world-renowned artist Landon Metz, further cementing the release’s multidisciplinary links to the art world.
Kasper has previously released 5 solo albums and numerous EPs and singles. He has countless remixes on labels including Kompakt, Bella Union, Ghostly International, Eskimo, Multi Culti, Wolf + Lamb, Permanent Vacation, Gomma, Correspondant, Relish, Throne of Blood, Hfn, My Favorite Robot and Pachanga Boys´ Hippie Dance imprint. He has also made music for Prada, Nike and other high end brands.
He has remixed Sascha Funke, Danielle Baldelli, Rebolledo, Moby, Trentemøller, Gus Gus, Sonns, Pillowtalk, Colder and Weval, whilst his own tracks have been reworked by Michael Mayer, Nicolas Jaar, Axel Boman, Gerd Janson, Mano Le Tough, Moscoman, Superpitcher, Matt Karmil, A/Jus/Ted, Hotel Lauer, Pilooski, Thomas Von Party, Marc Pinol, Marvin & Guy, The Golden Filter and Mutado Pintado (Paranoid London).
Kasper has DJd around the world at renowned clubs like Panorama Bar, Watergate, Rex, Robert Johnson, D-Edge, Fabric, Le Bain, Output, Electric Pickle – and festivals like Sonar Barcelona, Roskilde, Iceland Airwaves and Calvi on the Rocks.