Home Read Now Hear This: Henrik Olsson | Hand of Benediction II

Now Hear This: Henrik Olsson | Hand of Benediction II

The genre-busting Scandianavian guitarist and his bandmates take you on a wild trip.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Visionary guitarist and composer Henrik Olsson presents Hand of Benediction II, a followup album to the critically acclaimed 2019 release Hand of Benediction.

With a method that is both personal and exploratory, Olsson allows stylistic references and sound worlds to alternate fluidly in his compositions. His sprawling musical narrative is coming into existence through the performers’ strong instrumental voices, creativity and personality, as well as in the post-production process.

Formerly a trio, the lineup on Hand of Benediction II has now expanded to become a quartet, with the addition of Egil Kalman on modular synth. As Olsson says, “It adds a new sonic dimension to the guitar-bass-drums format, and offers challenging alternatives to the well trodden paths usually taken within the guitar based free jazz/rock idiom.”

Olsson is a Swedish guitarist and composer based in Copenhagen. He is existing on a continuum between free improvisation, noise and experimental music and is curiously exploring and embracing the multifaceted nature of the electric guitar, with meticulous attention to the instruments timbral and textural subtleties. His visions as a composer is manifested through his own projects such as Hand of Benediction — which has been called “a lovely madness and a very remarkable statement” — as well as his debut album Penumbra Ensemble, which was referred to as “a fascinating debut and an invigorating style denial.”

Egil Kalman is a musician/composer primarily playing modular synthesizer and double bass. His music draws parallels between folk and contemporary electroacoustic music via minimalist compositional techniques and free improvisation. He is currently based in Norway, where he plays in the Marthe Lea Band and Miman, among others. Jeppe Skovbakke is a bass player that has toured and recorded with several generations of Danish jazz musicians and a number of international soloists ranging from John Tchicai to Rhys Chatham. Rune Lohse is a powerful drumvoice on the Scandinavian scene and has played all over the continent with bands like Horse Orchestra, Tuhaf, Michael Rexen and Klimaforandringer.”