from the uppsala concert

We had a very nice concert at Slottsbiografen in Uppsala with a fine little crowd, including some children. A good sounding room compensated for the slightly too soft upright piano.

After a very intense week of rehearsing and discussing the specifics of improvisation, this was the last concert in this project with Katt Hernandez. This is not, however, the final concert with her. I am hoping that we as a trio will get the chance to continue to develop together with her. There is much still to do and to explore, to play, talking and think. I am looking forward to next event.

session 3 – december 18

As noted in a previous post the first introductory sessions was to explore our sound as a trio and the musical values we shared and that we disagreed on. The day before this session we had tried to play standards, something that I believe we all felt failed terribly. The standard jazz repertoire is saturated with expectations on style, feel, sound and many other aspects and even though all three of us are accustomed to playing this repertoire, as a group, in this particular context it felt very unnatural.

Having had that experience we instead decided to try to play some original music, in effect, the music was used mainly as points of departure, as sketches that we tried to expand. Almost as a surprise to us, this method felt very comfartable to all of us. Not only were the short musical fragments that each of us had brought to the session effective in terms of freedom and materiality, they allowed us to do what we intended in the playing these days: they made it possible for us to explore our aesthetics as a group.

Following are two excerpts from two takes of a little tune called Dumma Natt by Henrik. Thought they have a similar vibe, they are also quite different, a sign that we are indeed using them as vehicles for our own goals rather than those of the tune.

session 1 – november 2014

The purpose of the sessions we did as a trio in November-December 2014 was to explore our own sound, or our own aesthetics if you wish. What is our conceptual gravity? Towards what kind of music do we lean? What part of what comes “naturally” is something we aim for, and what part of it is something we would rather avoid? Or, expressed differently: What in what we play is part of an unmediated habit rather than expressive will?

The method we chose was to work with restraints. The instructions for an improvisation could be “Dark, in tempo, long tones” and “Little activity, long pauses, great dynamics”. There is a tendency for these pieces to lean to a minimalistic sound, with repetition and equal distribution of activity between the three instruments.

Included here is a short excerpt of such an excercise.