74CD - Maja Bugge - No Exit
CD recorded in Britain’s longest and deepest canal tunnel
The Norwegian cellist Maja Bugge's second solo album “No Exit” was recorded inside Standedge canal tunnel by Hervé Perez. The music on this album is mainly improvised and responds to the 3 ¼ mile long tunnels unique acoustic and sounds. She is also using the history of the site as an inspiration echoing the rhythmical patterns of feet moving the boats through tunnels in the 19th century and the sound of stones being carved out of the ground 200 years ago.
This results in a haunting, meditative and expressive improvisation. It is a homage to a unique site and its sound. The “lone” cello responds to the unpredictability of the space and together they make something.
Maja Bugge is a cellist and composer living in Lancaster. Her work conveys the familiar and the unfamiliar, the epic and the everyday. She is renowned for balancing melodic and meditative improvisations with experimental material, as well as playing concerts and recording in unusual sites.
The recording was made as part of Marsden Jazz Festival 2017 and with support from the Canal and River Trust and Jazz North.
Quotes on Maja Bugge’s work:
“It was captivating to observe Bugge improvising with her surroundings.” - The New York city Jazz Record 3rd July 2017
“Cellist Maja Bugge is all about location” - Nick Hasted, Jazzwise, June 2017
Standedge Tunnel stretches 3¼ miles from Diggle at one of the Pennines, to Marsden at the other. It is the highest (196 metres above sea level), longest (5,029 metres) and deepest canal (194 metres) in the UK. The Tunnel forms part of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal which runs for 20 miles between Huddersfield in West Yorkshire and Ashton under Lyne in Greater Manchester.
Maja Bugge - cello
Bugge comes from the northern part of Norway. Nowadays she is based in Lancaster (UK) where
she works and lives as a cellist and composer. As a cello teacher she loves to work with children.
As a performer a debuted on CD in 2012 with the album ‘Shelter’, released by Euredice. Recorded
in an out of use oil tank. As she likes to work with the characteristics of exceptional spaces. As is
the case for her new album ‘No Exit’. Recorded by Hervé Perez inside the Standedge tunnel of 3 ¼
mile length. “She is also using the history of the site as an inspiration echoing the rhythmical
patterns of feet moving the boats through tunnels in the 19th century and the sound of stones being
carved out of the ground 200 years ago.” The CD consists of four pieces of music that are mainly
improvised and came into being in contact and response to the specific conditions of this space.
With percussive effects, slapping the cello, sliding fingers over its surface, etc. she evokes this site.
This results in improvisations that are of a meditative and reflective nature. One can easily follow
all movements and gestures she makes during her playing that has a central role for melodic
elements. Neither complexity nor virtuosity is her thing. The use of extended techniques is limited.
But her music is very inspired and it works. It really tells you a story. Nice work. - DORF MULDER, VITAL WEEKLY
Attentive to the acoustic character of the structure and space, her music also resonates with rhythmic and textural evocations of physical labour once required for the tunnel's construction under the hills and its daily operation. While relatively austere...No Exit meets the basic Discus prerequisite of imaginative vitality. - JULIAN COWLEY, THE WIRE