Kasper Bjørke Quartet
The Fifty Eleven Project
(Kompakt, 2018)

Kasper Bjorke | Fifty Eleven Project

One of 2018’s most ambitious and moving ambient records, The Fifty Eleven Project is a triple LP of expansive new material from Kasper Bjørke and such esteemed guest players as Italian composer Davide Rossi, pianist Jakob Littauer (Jatoma), and keyboardist Claus Norreen.

It’s not just any old album, though; it’s Bjørke’s deeply personal documentation of the five years that passed between his cancer diagnosis and hard-fought remission. (50 11 was the hospital department where the producer endured a seemingly endless cycle of CT scans, x-rays and blood samples.)

“I wanted to document the gamut of feelings—both light and dark—using these long instrumental compositions as the narrative,” explains Bjørke, “and the track titles as a chronological guideline. The album chronicles a journey from discovery of the tumour, to the operation and frequent examinations; from feeling a beacon of love and light in the birth of my son (in the same hospital), to finally leaving that waiting room for the last time.

He continues, “The project has been a therapeutic way of me processing the diagnosis, the constant fear of relapse and the light in being healed. Throughout the process I used the music to fall asleep to—and as a sonic space to meditate in and contemplate my journey. My hope is that others; healthy, ill or next of kin, will be able to use The Fifty Eleven Project in that same way.”

We certainly have….