5

Gard Nilssen: Drumming Music

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Gard Nilssen: Drumming Music Norwegian drummer Gard Nilssen is one of the most-in- demand and versatile musicians in the vibrant Nordic scene. The musical range of his own bands—Bushman's Revenge, sPacemonKEy, Astro Sonic, Cortex, Lord Kelvin, PUMA, saxophonist Eirik Hegdal's Team Hegdal and bassist Per Zanussi's quintet—encompasses free improvisation, modern and free jazz, techno, electronica, metal, noise and experimental ambient sounds. But his musical universe is even wider, as his debut solo album reveals.

Drumming Music's title corresponds with the seminal work of composer Steve Reich, "Drumming," from the beginning of the seventies. And Nilssen mentions Reich as one of his inspirations along with Swedish drummer-composer Sven Ake Johansson, iconoclast composer John Zorn, contemporary composer Gavin Bryars,fellow Norwegian sound sculpting outfit Supersilent and pianist-composer Christian Wallumrod.

The very short 28 minutes consist of two acoustic compositions. Both release Nilssen from the role of powerhouse rhythmic time-keeper and introduce his highly inventive concepts of creating rich and colorful sounds out of his arsenal of percussion instruments, constructing them into a cohesive composition. The first one, "Live, Work, Create!" reference Zorn's cut- and-paste compositional methods and plays with lush, ambient gong sounds, powerful, hypnotic drumming, minimalist gong and cymbal sounds and spare rubbing and hitting of the drums skins. All these sounds ebb and flow, morphed into the other organically. creating a dramatic and intense sonic experience.

The title of second piece, "Rinzen (suddenly awakening)" is inspired by Zen Buddhism, describing an experience that leads to a spiritual enlightenment. This piece uses the drum set, gongs and vibes as orchestral instruments—exploring the infinite sonic qualities of the skins of the drums, surfaces of the cymbals, the sticks themselves and eventually the whole set as a massive sound generator, featuring Nilssen in full command of this exploitative experience. Nilssen sounds at times as a musician possessed with these sounds, surrendering to the captivating and intense sonic experience, insightful and powerful as seminal solo percussion and drumming journeys of American drummer-shaman Milford Graves or Japanese Tatsuya Nakatani.

A highly original masterpiece.

Track Listing: Live, Work, Create!; Rinzen (suddenly awakening).

Personnel: Gard Nilssen: drums, vibraphone, gongs, percussion.

Title: Drumming Music | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Gigafon


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "An Untroublesome Defencelessness" CD/LP/Track Review An Untroublesome Defencelessness
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Kill Together" CD/LP/Track Review Kill Together
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "Wee +3" CD/LP/Track Review Wee +3
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Sunkissed" CD/LP/Track Review Sunkissed
by Jeff Winbush
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "You'll See" CD/LP/Track Review You'll See
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 27, 2016
Read "Roaring" CD/LP/Track Review Roaring
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 22, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.