News from 2L .:. April 2013
LIVING (2L-092-SABD) Jan Gunnar Hoff

Jan Gunnar Hoff - LIVING

LIVING is Jan Gunnar Hoff's first solo piano album. His personal blend of different styles and influences is presented in its purest form - simply music. Some of Hoff's pieces are meditative and expressive, while others have a strong rhythmic nerve, creating contrast and variation in the programme.

Jan Gunnar Hoff has worked extensively as a bandleader and jazz artist since 1992, developing a distinctive musical style. His band with a.o. Audun Kleive and Bjørn Kjellemyr had its breakthrough at Vossa Jazz 1995 and later played at the London Jazzfestival, Molde Int. Jazzfestival and several major festivals and venues in Scandinavia. Hoff's jazzcompositions have been performed in collaborations with Mike Stern, Pat Metheny, Alex Acuña, Maria João, Mathias Eick and many others. He has made a number of albums in his own name and has composed 180 works for different ensembles. Hoff is also teaching as a professor at the Universities of Tromsø and Kristiansand.

As a sideman Hoff has contributed to numerous recordings in different genres. He was the arranger and ensemble leader of Quiet Winter Night, Grammy-nominated for Best Surround Sound in 2013, an album where he successfully merges elements of jazz, folk and popular music. Hoff's collaboration with 2L and Morten Lindberg is continued on LIVING. This is a solo piano journey that carries Hoff's artistic identity further into his own musical terrain, enhanced by the crystal clear recording from Sofienberg Church in Oslo.

Pure Audio Blu-ray including Hybrid SACD with 5.1 surround and stereo
The CD plays on all standard players and computers

Also available as Direct Metal Master 180g audiophile grade VINYL

Jan Gunnar Hoff - LIVING videoI started playing the piano at the age of 10. Early on I began improvising on the classical pieces that my piano teacher gave me. I made minor variations in the melodies and learnt a lot of music by ear. A few years later I listened to artists like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Rick Wakeman, Deep Purple, Ketil Bjørnstad, Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett and Weather Report. Edvard Grieg was also a major influence. I have always felt as being part of a crossover tradition somewhere between jazz, classical and popular music. The melody for me is the strongest part of music.

I spend a lot of time searching for thematic substance and try to develop this into tunes or larger compositions. In order to make the melodies "come alive" I seek to express emotion and passion in the performance itself. There is also a strong link between improvisation and composition. Many of my pieces emerge from improvising on the piano or are captured from a sequencer session. I start writing a lot of small sketches, then choose which ideas to develop further. Jan Gunnar Hoff, 2013

"Hoff's writing and playing possesses an almost pop-like clarity and concision, but with a far richer vernacular." John Kelman,

Hommage à Grieg (2L-094-SABD) Dena Piano Duo

Hommage à Grieg

Vol. IIThere is a recurrent theme running through the program presented by the Dena Piano Duo in this production; all four composers and works have a particular relationship to Edvard Grieg. Both Johannes Brahms and Camille Saint-Saëns were friends of Grieg, and in several of his works the inspiration Grieg gained from his colleagues in Vienna and Paris is easy to hear. In between the works of Brahms and Saint-Saëns the Dena Piano Duo play two Norwegian works they have commissioned from the composers Wolfgang Plagge and Terje Bjørklund with this recording in mind.

The Dena Piano Duo consists of the pianists Tina Margareta Nilssen from Norway and Heide Görtz from Germany. They first met as student and teacher at the Berlin University of the Arts. Through their common approach to piano playing, the Dena Piano Duo are known for their possibility of making the two pianos sound like one, yet keeping their individual musical expression with playfulness and passion.

Vol. IPure Audio Blu-ray including Hybrid SACD with 5.1 surround and stereo
The CD plays on all standard players and computers


STRING QUARTETS vol. III (2L-091-SACD) Engegårdkvartetten


Vol. IIThe combination of Haydn Opus 77/1, Nordheim's Duplex and Bartók's Fifth String Quartet, was an irresistible challenge for us. A choice of programme from our hearts. We aim for our recordings to be like our concerts, with balance throughout the programme and a feeling of having fulfilled a journey at the end. It is also imperative for us to have a close relationship with the works we record. Our primarius, Arvid, has a special connection with both Bartók's Fifth Quartet through his mentor Sándor Végh, and with Duplex because of his contact with Arne Nordheim. The great quartets of Joseph Haydn are an ongoing project, and the joyful opening of Opus 77/1 sweeps the listener headlong into our third programme with 2L. Duplex is also one of Nordheim's later works.It is an extreme work, filled with contrasts, virtuosity and beauty and is among the most accessible of Nordheim's output. As with Haydn in opus 77/1, Bartók has found a comprehensive and unique musical language in his Fifth Quartet, an undisputable masterpiece. Vol. IThe Engegård Quartet made their first appearance at the 2006 Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival. Inspired by the midnight sun, their musical landscape ranges from glowing core energy to the gentle lyrical sound of Norwegian nature.

Hybrid SACD with 5.1 surround and stereo
This CD plays on all standard players and computers



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The music captured by 2L features Norwegian composers and performers and an international repertoire reflected in the Nordic atmosphere. The surround sound recordings of Lindberg Lyd not only transform the entire listening experience, but also - more radically - these innovative recordings overturn some very basic concepts regarding how music is played and even composed. 2L emphasize surround sound with Pure Audio Blu-ray and HiRes file distribution, and have garnered no less than 14 American GRAMMY nominations since 2006. Nine of these in categories "Best Engineered Album" and "Best Surround Sound Album".

2L record in spacious acoustic venues: large concert halls, churches and cathedrals. This is actually where we can make the most intimate recordings. The qualities we seek in large rooms are not necessarily a big reverb, but openness due to the absence of close reflecting walls. Making an ambient and beautiful recording is the way of least resistance. Searching the fine edge between direct contact and openness - that’s the real challenge! A really good recording should be able to bodily move the listener. This core quality of audio production is made by choosing the right venue for the repertoire, and by balancing the image in the placement of microphones and musicians relative to each other in that venue.

There is no method available today to reproduce the exact perception of attending a live performance. That leaves us with the art of illusion when it comes to recording music. As recording engineers and producers we need to do exactly the same as any good musician: interpret the music and the composer’s intentions and adapt to the media where we perform. Surround sound is a completely new conception of the musical experience. Recorded music is no longer a matter of a fixed two-dimensional setting, but rather a three-dimensional enveloping situation. Stereo can be described as a flat canvas, while surround sound is a sculpture that you can literally move around and relate to spatially; surrounded by music you can move about in the aural space and choose angles, vantage points and positions.

The Pure Audio Blu-ray combines the Blu-ray format's vast storage capacity and bandwidth necessary for high resolution sound (up to 192 kHz/24Bit) in surround and stereo with the easy and straight-forward handling of a CD. Pure Audio Blu-rays provide screen-less navigation and play back on every Blu-ray player.


2L music store
Our brand new 2L music store combines HiRes audio files and physical products in one shop! All our albums originally recorded in DXD are now available in a wide range of resolutions, including DXD, DSD64 and DSD128, along with physical products like CD, SACD, Pure Audio Blu-ray and vinyl. The shop interface is kind of a "v0.9 open beta"; fully functional, but still improving in layout and functionality day by day. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

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