Presence is a beautiful track from Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer’s 2002 recording NP3. While the video clip was superbly crafted, I can’t dissociate the track from the album’s cover featuring life-size figures on a beach staring at the horizon.
The cover is a photograph of an existing installation called “Another Place” by British sculptor Antony Gormley. It consists of 100 cast-iron bodies scattered on a strand, “all of them looking out to sea in silent expectation”. First installed in Cruxhaven (Germany) in 1997, the installation moved to Stavanger in Norway and then to De Panne in Belgium. Since 2006, the figures have been permanently installed on Crosby Beach, Liverpool, Merseyside, England.
The work is seen as a poetic response to the individual and universal sentiments associated with emigration – sadness at leaving, but the hope of a new future in another place. (Sefton Council)
It is difficult to know whether Nils Petter Molvaer composed Presence with the installation in mind or if the latter is associated with other tracks on the recording. I’d like to think of Presence as a permanent soundtrack to “Another Place”.