Smalltown Supersound is proud to present Kaleidoscopic, the follow-up to the critically acclaimed debut album, Pooka, by Jaga Jazzist and The National Bank leader Lars Horntveth. Kaleidoscopic consists of one 37 minute long composition and was recorded with 41 members of the Latvian National Orchestra (34 string players, 3 percussionists, clarinet, flute, bass trombone and one harp), with Lars Horntveth himself playing piano, horns, and clarinets. The orchestra was lead by the Norwegian conductor Terje Mikkelsen, who now conducts the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and the Moscow Radio Orchestra. While Mikkelsen conducted the orchestra over a two day span in a small church in Riga, Latvia, Lars and producer Jørgen Sir Dupermann Traen concentrated on listening to the takes and commenting on which direction they wanted the music to take.
Lars' dogma in creating this album was to write the music chronologically into an open, endless score, similar to a diary. Intending for the music to flow from idea to idea, Lars wanted the score to grow and develop along with his state of mind. Rather than create ten songs for an album and then sequence the tracks to have a smooth curve of tension and release, Lars wanted to make a larger, more encompassing curve, and accomplish it in just one song. The album is a journey in sound, it’s form fitting somewhere between Steve Reich's Music For 18 Musicians and KLF's Chill Out. It is a musical experience from start to finish, an auditory trip into very different rooms and moods, with great contrast and surprises from one musical genre to the next. In a recent interview with a Norwegian newspaper, Horntveth explained that he was inspired musically by Jim O' Rourke's guitar playing, Robert Wyatt’'s use of contrasts, Stereolab`s playfulness, the soulful and inventive drumming on Dave Brubeck'’s Take Five, Joanna Newsom`s unconventional take on pop, Hitchcock-composer Bernard Herrmann’'s moods, and Jean-Claude Vannier’'s string arrangements for Serge Gainsbourg.
Kaleidoscopic was launched in Norway at the Oya Festival where the whole album was played in its entirety by Horntveth and the Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestra. Amongst many of the glowing reviews, Pitchfork wrote “It sounded lovely and professional, quite a bit like Jaga's sprightly yet severe post- rock/jazz, with a more classical bent."
Horntveth`s musical skills are self taught, starting Jaga Jazzist when he was 15 years old. Since then he has created five albums with the band. He debuted with his solo album Pooka in 2004 to wide critical acclaim. The album was awarded two different Norwegian Grammies: The Spellemann Prize, and the more alternative-leaning Alarm Prize. Horntveth has contributed to and written music for over 50 albums, including Turbonegro, Magnet, and Motorpsycho, among others. He has written three film scores, as well as music for several radio plays and theatrical productions. Kaleidoscopic is the largest and most challenging project Lars has accomplished to this day.