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Simon Toldam: A New Perspective in Jazz

Jakob Baekgaard By

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"I can sense that they are getting closer. The latest record from Stork, Bells of Sunday (ILK, 2014) was inspired by the sound of church bells. If you listen for a long time, you discover all kinds of overtones going anywhere. In the beginning, you hear the beats, but at some point, they disappear and the pure sound of overtones emerge (at this point in the interview, the sound of bells are suddenly chiming in the park). Wow. Good timing. You are allowed to get behind the sound and when you have entered this place. It is like another world. It is a microcosm that starts to open up. In that way, the two projects are approaching each other, with both records being inspired by a state of mind that goes beyond music itself."

"It is about slowing down. Almost like pressing pause and still be able to be present. It is like looking up in the sky where you see the tracks of a jet plane and suddenly you forget where you are, that you should pick up the kids, that you are hungry, that the tea is cold, all because you become immersed in something. Those moments are like playing music or like when you were playing as a kid and forgot everything around you. Those moments are important to have and give us some special experiences. They are an important part of our life, the moments when you forget everything about time."

"If you draw a parallel to music. In this place, the boundary between good and bad doesn't exist. It is not exciting. You are. And when you are, there are no questions. I am me. You are you. There are people you communicate with easily and some you can't talk to, but it doesn't make you a better or worse person and that's the same thing about playing. Perhaps someone leaves, and perhaps someone is really excited, but I am still just me. That is exciting to reach that point where it is not about good or bad music."

Toldam sums up his experience of playing music and his relationship with the trio:

"I look at it this way; in the trio we go into a room we explore together and suddenly a door opens and there is a new room. And you never know when the doors open, but you need to be susceptible any moment. We can play a traditional piece with an intro and bridge, but perhaps we only play three measures before a new door opens up where everyone feels there is something and then you enter this room, and perhaps you return to the previous room, or perhaps there is a new door. That is the image, I'm trying to give, to show how the music plays itself without form as a limitation. We do not say: 'we can only be free when we have played the bridge,' perhaps the music wants something else, and then we'll do that. It's not a provocative statement about the jazz tradition, but rather a wish for development, saying it could also be something different."

Discography:

Simon Toldam Trio: Kig Op 15 (ILK, 2015)

Simon Toldam Trio: Kig Op 14 (ILK, 2014)

Stork: Bells of Sunday (ILK, 2014)

Han Bennink Trio: Bennink & Co (ILK, 2012)

Simon Toldam Trio: Sunshine Sunshine or Green as Grass (ILK, 2012)

Sekten: Klubbhus (ILK, 2012)

Stork: Stork (ILK, 2011)

Pet: Pet (ILK, 2009)

Han Bennink Trio: Parken (ILK, 2009)

Sekten: Mäktiga Vingar (ILK, 2008)

Simon Toldam & Prügelknabe: Simon Toldam & Prügelknabe (ILK, 2008)

Sekten: Annars Är Det Tyst (ILK, 2005)

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