Christer Fredriksen – Mauve | A journey through time on electric strings
I didn’t really look at the cover art of Christer Fredriksen’s Mauve until I finished it. However, it is poetic how it captures the myriad sensations of the album in a single visual. Mauve is a delightfully acoustic, very elegantly produced album. It features ten songs, which have a total run time of thirty-seven minutes.
The songs are all composed with ambient sounds, conversations, sounds of heavy rain showers, and more. The collective presentation of the songs is very peaceful, contemplative, and positively stimulating. Norwegian artist Christer Fredriksen is a guitarist and composer specializing in ambient jazz, and I didn’t know it yet but I think it is my favorite genre now. Well as long as it can consistently offer the auditory story-telling experience. Talking of the experience, here’s what Mauve was like.
About Christer Fredriksen’s Mauve
The album opens with the song Sun and Moon Turning, and after it are Next is On the Radio, and Fuglen. These three form what I call the first quartet of this album. Together, they offer a meditative calm and a divine sort of connection to nature. The first few seconds of Sun and Moon Turning are akin to Agalloch’s Pantheist with the sounds of fast winds blowing. On Next is On the Radio, there is some static chatter on the radio in the background. Fuglen is first of the two over-five-minute songs on the album, and this one is a turning point for the track list. Somewhere at the cross of tranquility and white noise is this string arrangement with a slow beat to calm you down. It starts out with a larger than life quality, and once again the naked strings are intimate.
The second set of tracks is a little more faster paced with a shorter spacing between the beats. Slow Blues is the next song, and it feels grand. It is moody and brooding, yet there is a sanctity within. The Organizer is a quick paced melody, and it is the anthem for those who want to get work done. Further, Horseman (Intro) is quite energetic, and the beats build up for over a minute before the drop. Prelude II follows right after, and this time low and high notes create a confusingly creative collage.
With the last three songs remaining in the album, there is another volte down the road. Low Dawn opens with silence: the winds chime in, the calm overtakes you once again. Five minutes of calm ensue. Up next and penultimate is Salvesdalen with a soothing string arrangement and a hopeful contemplation. Ultimately, Clearing wraps up this LP real good. The ambient noises that were gone for a while also come back with this track. Its slower beat offers a resolution to the listners, and it transforms into an epilogue with bright colours as it ends gradually.
Final words to Mauve
To build an album entirely on the strings, with this much depth and narrative ability is honestly a mammoth task most wouldn’t undertake. It takes true visualization ability to create music that is expressive each unique time. And it requires some incredibility visionary mixing and producing to get to this level of polish.
Christer Fredriksen is able to showcase his genius as a musician and artist, but more importantly to me, he creates a sensory experience for the listeners that never lacks. It offers a whole lot in terms of the stimulation, and it genuinely blows my mind that he does this with barely anything!