The energy given by motherhood. Maternity beat by Hedvig Mollestad & Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Rune Grammofon, 2022 on #neuguitars #blog
Tireless. On time. Unmissable. Hedvig Mollestad returns to give us a new album, which arrived just before the past Christmas holidays.
“Maternity beat” is still produced by Rune Grammofon, and is immediately confirmed as one of the best albums released in the past 2022. I have been following Mollestad for years and I have never felt disappointed by her music: each one of her new albums is a step forward, a discovery and the perfect example of a vision of music so personal that it continues to fascinate me.
Mollestad belongs to the small category of musicians who manage to combine an extremely personal and easily recognizable sound with an active artistic creativity and never banal ideas. If in the previous “Tempest Revisited” (2021) she gave us a taste of her skills as a composer and arranger by rereading the piece by Norwegian composer Arne Nordheim “The Tempest”, in this “Maternity Beat” she continues to operate outside the ‘comfort zone’ ‘ of her trio to interact with the exceptional Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (where we find the partner Ellen Brekken on double bass). An exponent of the Norwegian metal-jazz sound, Mollestad this time has decided to explore the theme of motherhood, using it as a glue for a series of other contemporary themes: parenthood, the global migration crisis and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Maternity beat” is a real emotional storm, a journey full of complicated emotions such as fear, relief and guilt.
The broad sonic and emotional reach of this album required Mollestad to wear multiple roles at once: guitar explorer, composer, arranger, improviser, leader and, as the title suggests, mother. In addition to showcasing the latest evolution of her guitar playing, this album offers deeply personal meditations on the nature of family and pressing issues of universal social justice. The sound of “Maternity Beat” is equally intricate, dissonant, energetic and groovy. Mollestad’s music expresses a desire for speed, for acceleration, for positive energy, and she does so through a concept album centered on nine compositions full of action, impetus and sonic assault. “Maternity Beat” seems to have had a long gestation. As indicated by Mollestad in her interview on The Quietus, everything took shape in 2017, the year in which the guitarist asked for a scholarship to write a piece for the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. In that same year the lady was pregnant with her second child and decided to write a piece for orchestra. do something to implement the idea. We are listening to the result. Worth mentioning is the skill of the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, an ensemble of the highest level which in this album largely displays the musical qualities of its twelve members, guaranteeing a solid and close-knit interplay. I’m biased, but “Maternity Beat” is an important collage of synergies, disciplines, perspectives, borders and experiences.