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Artist Profiles

Lotte Anker

By Published: January 24, 2009
Anker lends that masterful assertiveness to the debut album of a former student, Danish pianist Henriette Groth. Du Fugl (ILK Music), which means "You Bird," pairs Anker's soaring melodies and jittery proclamations with Groth's thoughtful statements in a pleasingly communicative duo setting. But the most striking of Anker's recent releases aligns her wonky trajectories with the soft, glistening piano of Courvoisier and the metallic shattering and microscopic glitches of Mori's electronics. Filled with those "weird sounds" she was so fascinated with as a young player, Alien Huddle (Intakt) presents a trio of musicians, well established in their own individual modes of expression. She also finds that playing with electronics creates a more ethereal atmosphere. "It's not so physical," she explained. "When you play with acoustic instruments you have a reaction which is right there, but with electronics the reaction is slower. Once you are used to that then it's interesting because you have to try to match that sound."

This is a concept she's able to further explore through composing, a process she links to the abstract imagery of moving bodies. But words have also inspired. She recently completed a work called "City of Glass" a two-hour concert for the Copenhagen Art Ensemble based on texts of American author Paul Auster. "I started to hear melodies in his work," she said. "The rhythm in his writing is very musical." She has written over a dozen pieces for the 12-piece group, an ensemble that realizes Anker's objective of linking composed music with improvisation and she hopes to one day make a recording of "City of Glass". Though the studio expense seems nearly insurmountable, Anker isn't one to give up, in music or in the occasional obstacles of life. "She has a very immediate connection to her intuitive faculties. And she trusts this connection," said Taborn. "She has an absolute conviction and faith in the process of improvisation and the ability of her deeper self to guide her through any circumstances."

Recommended Listening:

Lotte Anker/Marilyn Crispell/Marilyn Mazur, Poetic Justice (Dacapo, 2000)

Lotte Anker/Craig Taborn/Gerald Cleaver, Triptych (Leo, 2003)

Mokuto, Message for the Errand Boy (Ninth World Music, 2003/2005)

Lotte Anker/Craig Taborn/Gerald Cleaver, Live at the Loft (Ilk Music, 2005)

Lotte Anker/Sylvie Courvoisier/Ikue Mori, Alien Huddle (Intakt, 2006)

Henriette Groth/Lotte Anker, Du Fugl (ILK Music, 2006-7)

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