Sounds of the Montana wilderness
Film directors shooting documentaries and feature films are so overwhelmed by the unique soundscape composer and cellist Ernst Reijseger creates that they want to unite their imagery with Reijseger’s music. The first of these was Werner Herzog. The young brothers Alex and Andrew Smith, screenwriter and director, discovered the Dutch artist in his album Crystal Palace and asked him to create the score for their new film “Walking Out”. The film is based on a short story by David Quammen and narrates the struggle for survival of a father and his son in the wilderness of Montana. The Smith brothers manage to capture the raw beauty of Montana as well as the terrifying isolation of this place in magnificent images. Reijseger takes inspiration from those thrilling nature shots and writes new compositions, improvisations, interpretations and adaptations of Henry Purcell’s “When I am Laid in Earth” from the opera “Dido and Aeneas” in three different versions.
„When I am Laid in Earth I“ (Track 5) is a collaboration of Ernst Reijseger and the Baroque ensemble Forma Antiqva conducted by Aarón Zapico (Forma Antiqva and Enrst Reijseger already collaborated in 2016 for the album “The Volcano Symphony”). Scottish percussionist Alan ‘Guga’ Purves uses his sound tubes with a high degree of sensitivity. Reijseger’s cello improvisation and the original sound of the Baroque ensemble blend together to form a homogeneous unit. For “When I am Laid in Earth II” (Track 10), flautist Erik Bosgraaf – this time playing the organ – and Ernst Reijseger with his cello play together. The three brothers Aarón, Daniel and Pablo Zapico create the continuo group for Reijseger’s cello voice in „When I am Laid in Earth III“ (Track 14) and act upon his free play: in this way, a lively musical dialogue between Baroque musicians and jazz improvisation develops.
Ernst Reijseger prepares a special combination of interpreters and their instruments for each individual piece and thus creates rich, multi-layered timbres. He works with such excellent musicians as pianist Harmen Fraanje, the Baroque group Forma Antiqva, flautist Erik Bosgraaf and cellists Charles Watt and Djoeke Klijzing. In the first piece, “Walking Out”, we hear a bass flute, three cellos and organ. Reijseger improvises above this very special ensemble sound and convinces his listeners with his simplicity and keen intuition. In the second piece, “Incoming Clouds”, Reijseger combines the hovering sounds of sound tubes with the piano and the alto recorder.
Each piece presents new combinations of sounds. Fanny Winter sings in unison with Erik Bosgraaf’s alto recorder in “Alone with the View”, accompanied on the cello by Djoeke Klijzing and Charles Watt. In “Geese Compass”, the duo Ernst Reijseger and Harman Fraanje present themselves at the church organ. Reijseger also enriches his compositions with the versatility of Erik Bosgraaf’s soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorder. In addition to the recorders, Alan ‘Gunga’ Purves‘ carefully tuned sound tubes also play an important role as listeners can hear for themselves in “Northern Lights”. The final highlight of the album “Walking Out” is the piece “In Mid Air”. Reijseger sings and plays the cello, accompanied by Erik Bosgraaf on the alto recorder, Harmen Fraanje on the piano and percussionist Alan ‘Gunga’ Purves.
The images of the Montana wilderness inspired Reijseger to write and play this music. His exciting combinations of sounds and timbres together with Baroque instruments and sensitive improvisations are a pleasure to listen to from the first to the last minute.