Sidsel Endresen / One

Being invited inside someone’s throat is no everyday business. Nevertheless, Sidsel Endresen does exactly so on this record of exceptional voice bending, tongue twisting and free improvising. At this point in her career, Endresen was reborn as a vocal improviser, distancing herself from her highly successful projects with Jon Eberson and Bugge Wesseltoft.

19.08 / 2013

“One” was released three years after “Merriwinkle”, which blew people off their seats, the trios electroacoustic free improvising flaunting quite aggressive behaviour. Those who had paid attention were less surprised, remembering Endresen’s role in the experimental vocal trio ESE that started eight years earlier. This solo record can easily be seen as a continuation of the bending, stretching and murmuring of this no longer existing trio.

Also it develops, expands and solidifies the use of Endresen’s trademark “gibberish” lingo, an attribute that allows her to improvise over a lot more parameters than most others. It gives her improvisations heaps of virtuoso percussivity and gives association with New Testament speaking in tongues, hidden messages when playing records backwards and other mystic features.

But the improvising itself is the most rewarding treat. The vocalist has a greatly developed intuition that always lands her right back on her feet, no matter how severe the risk-taking. Starting with nothing but a whisper, the first improvisation gradually, and inaudibly at first, morphs from noise to tone to overtone. The ten improvisations on the recording are similar in composition if not in content to this first one; short, thematically consistent and with a clear sense of development. As a listener, exploring the insides of another persons esophagus might be challenging at times, maybe even unpleasant at first. But hearing how this vocal pioneer, ever changing and increasingly experimental passing her 60th birthday last year, turns her voice inside out is well worth the trouble.