I did not expect a free trip to the heart of a Norwegian forest when I took my seat to see experimental Scandinavian group perform in Huddersfield.
But that was where I felt I and dozens of other music lovers who had squeezed into Huddersfield University ‘s Phipps Hall had been teleported to when four piece Asamisimasa struck their first chords.
One of the performances that took place as part of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, it was the unexpected trip of a lifetime, made possible due to the ensemble’s innovative use of classical instruments and every day items.
A kitchen milk frothing device, a Dust-Off aerosol can, two toy space guns and a pack of playing cards were just some of the mundane objects utilised to recreate the noises one could find when travelling through the forest landscape.
Using man-made goods to create natural sounds, it was an excellent, tongue in cheek way to show how even products consigned to the rubbish pile can gain a new life as musical instruments.
They were first put into action when the notes of the classical stringed double bass suddenly turned into the noise of a wood cutter, and then when an old water bottle began to mimic the sounds of a babbling brook, which seemed to echo around the entire room.
A comb, tin can and the white noise created when a finger is put over an audio jack cable all had their role, which were overlapped and played by musicians on the opposite sides of the stage in an ping pong manner, which created the sense of activity taking place all around me.
Layered with the electronic sounds of bird song, it reminded me of how beautiful natural spring woodlands exist side by side with human activity.
But it was not just the natural sounds that were explored within the group’s two pieces, composed by Øyvind Torvund’s Neon Forest Spaces and Laurence Crane’s Sound of Horse.
The next part’s mix of the humble triangle with heavier guitar sounds and a clarinet, worked together to evoke a sense of mystery and intrigue.
While in the last section it seemed like feelings of fear over the mysterious goings on in the dark woods were explored by the use of cymbals and harsher woodwind sounds, which were then placated by the tinkling notes of the vibraphone, which announced the return of a more peaceful scene.
It seemed like the first morning sun rays had returned to the forest to herald the start of a new day within an exciting yet unpredictable realm.
An incredibly tight set which evoked an enchanting landscape, I left feeling like I had been treated to a late winter getaway without having to dust off my passport.