Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

54

Skogen: Ist gefallen in den Schnee

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Skogen: Ist gefallen in den Schnee Ist gefallen in den Schnee, lasting sixty-one minutes, consists entirely of a November 2010 recording of the title composition by Magnus Granberg. For the recording Granberg's group Skogen—in which he plays piano—is expanded to a nonet including two non-Swedish guest musicians, Angarad Davies on violin and Toshimaru Nakamura on his instrument of choice, the no-input mixing board. Strings, vibraphone, percussion, bowls and glasses plus electronics complete the group's line-up, giving it a soundscape that extends way beyond that of a chamber group.

Opening with delicate, carefully-spaced piano notes, the composition initially sounds most reminiscent of Morton Feldman. Remarkably, Granberg himself says its rhythmic material and other temporal proportions are derived from two different songs from Schubert's song cycle Die Winterreise (the album title is definitely a line from one of its songs, "Wasserflut"). Its tonal material, however, is derived from a jazz song that he has forgotten. If the composer had not dropped such clues, those sources would not be at all apparent from the music itself.

The piece subtly combines composition and improvisation. Granberg comments, "Perhaps one could say that I provide a potential which could be realized in innumerable ways, but the actual realizations are always the result of what decisions the musicians make throughout the piece; formal differentiation occurs spontaneously as a result of an improvisational process."

With any nine-member ensemble that includes improvisation, there will always be the risk that the players will get in each other's way or that the music degenerates into a series of individual contributions leading to cacophony overall. Granberg's composition deftly manages to sidestep these potential problems, avoiding any feeling of clutter or messiness, while achieving a beautiful sense of space, openness and tranquility. The composer's own piano playing is central to that—his economical contributions set an example to the other players and act as the backbone of the piece.

The ringing sounds of Henrik Olsson's bowls and glasses plus the electronic tones from Nakamura and Petter Wästberg contrast effectively with the ensemble's conventional instruments while being entirely consistent with the mood of the piece and the sound of the rest of the group. Across its duration, Ist gefallen in den Schnee creates its own rules and logic, resulting in a composition that demands to be heard again and again. Sublime.


Track Listing: Ist gefallen in den Schnee.

Personnel: Angharad Davies: violin; Anna Lindal: violin; Leo Svensson Sendal: cello; Magnus Granberg: piano; John Eriksson: vibraphone and crotales; Erik Carlsson: selected percussion; Henrik Olsson: bowls and glasses; Petter Wästberg: objects, contact microphones and mixing board; Toshimaru Nakamura: no-input mixing board.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Another Timbre


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Umbrella Weather CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs) CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Born In An Urban Ruin CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Bukoliki" CD/LP/Track Review Bukoliki
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 16, 2016
Read "Transcience" CD/LP/Track Review Transcience
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Lockout Station" CD/LP/Track Review Lockout Station
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics" CD/LP/Track Review Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics
by Paul Naser
Published: May 2, 2016
Read "Enter the Plus Tet" CD/LP/Track Review Enter the Plus Tet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "San Ygnacio" CD/LP/Track Review San Ygnacio
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!