[Cover photo credit to Veronica Van Groningen]

Hedvig Mollestad & Trondheim Jazz Orchestra have just released double album Maternity Beat via Rune Grammofon in digital and physical formats. Recorded with the 12-piece Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, who have previously worked with the likes of Chick Corea and Joshua Redman, Maternity Beat also reflects Mollestad’s “deeply personal meditations on the nature of family and pressing social justice issues”.  The album’s latest single is “Maternity Suite.”

Mollestad shares:

‘Maternity Suite’ is that grandiose prog-suite rising from megalomaniac ideas when I first started working on this music. I wanted this last piece to be as triumphant and powerful as the euphoria of rightfully being let loose from something holding you back, marching united forward towards life at its most joyful! I wanted it to embrace the full power of the whole band altogether, at the same time I wanted to create a journey through shapes and landscapes, of course containing heavy riffs and multiple maxblast-power-solos, to embrace the full freedom!

Maternity Beat required Mollestad wear multiple hats: guitarist, composer, arranger, improviser, collaborator, and, as the title implies, mother. That latter role serves as the album’s thematic focus.

This is a turning point for Mollestad, who points out:

I used to be reluctant about talking about gender and motherhood in relation to what I was doing as a musician.