TRACK: Rutger Hoedemaekers – ‘Not For That Hour, Nor For That Place’: modern composition with electronica glimmer

Rutger Hoedemaekers, photographed by Chloë Desnoyers

RUTGER HOEDEMAEKERS is the most recent addition to 130701’s almost obscenely strong and talented stable of artists working at the forefront of modern composition.

You may not yet have come across him, even if you are an aficionado of modern composition; but if you are amongst that number, you’ve heard him collaboratively in the work emanating from his Berlin studio-cum-salon. Salon used wisely, as the 3.500 sq ft of converted industrial space quickly became a community hub for musicians of the calibre of Jóhann Jóhannsson, Hildur Guðnadóttir and Dustin O’Halloran; later, Gunnar Örn Tynes from Múm and Yair Elazar Glotman. Rutger would work closely alongside Jóhann for four years before his untimely death.

In 2015, Rutger was asked by Jóhann to co-compose the score for the Icelandic crime series Trapped, alongside Hildur Guðnadóttir. It garnered acclaim and won a rightful award. This led to further film work alongside Jóhann. He’s since scored a brace of European movies alone.

Outside his work for the big screen, there are potent little markers of him out in the world already – a digital-only single from the tail end of last year, “The Invention Of The Moon”, of which we wrote, referring to our own internal Hansard, as beginning …

” … in a female voice, processed to the point of fracture and linguistic incomprehensibility, but not to such a point as you can’t immediately identify with the soul and naked emotional consciousness of her soft song: pitched as it is somewhere between seeming lament and lullaby, fragile, real, yet also surreal. Stunning.”

He also made a vibrant contribution to 7K’s 20-track compilation from December gone, Layers: Ambient, entitled ‘Done Our Share Of Reading And We’ve Worked On Our Lace”. I mean, the whole digital album is an excellent exploration of all the things that gather into the skirts of ‘ambience’ at the present time, but Rutger’s contribution is one of the foremost among a truly global array of talent.

Johann’s passing precipitated Rutger to finish an album which he had been working on here and there for quite some time, but which, as these personal projects often do, got nudged back again and again by external demands; he’s now completed it, and “Not For That Hour, Nor For That Place” joins “The Invention Of The Moon” in being the second single to be revealed from The Age Of Oddities, which will be unveiled in full come March.

We’ve embedded the track for you, naturellement. It has a certain Jónsi-like eerie, vocal styling, a motif which runs through the album: wavering, otherly, conveying essential if wordless humanity with metronomic chimes rising above a slow, intricate wash of fluid string melodicism, courtesy the 23-piece Budapest Art Orchestra. It’s glittering, at once electronic and also classical, fusing the forms in the service of beauty and intelligence.

The voice is still detectable later in the iridescent heat of the track at its height, and it takes the solo spotlight once more at the end before an arresting end in a backwash of tone and breath.

He’s a major talent, and his name will be on so many more lips come spring. Make sure you’re conversant with his language; we think the modern compositional A-list is a dead cert. And more importantly, that it’s wonderful, intelligent music.

Rutger Hoedemaeker’s The Age Of Oddities will be released by 130701 digitally and on vinyl on March 5th and is available to pre-order now over at the FatCat webstore.

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