Aar & Dag (year and day in Danish) is a label and collective of four contemporary Danish composers: Andreas Pallisgaard, Mads Forsby, Anders Lauge Meldgaard, and Michael Mørkholt focusing on unexplored territories between improvisation and composition and exploring new methods, instruments, and systems for composing and performing music as a collaborative entity. All four musicians have their own independent practices as musicians-composers, working with instrument-building, computer programming, live improvisation, and notated composition. «Tifold af Fri Form og Fælles Motiv» (Tenfold of Free Form and Shared Motif or Motive in Danish) is the sixth album of the collective and documents Aar & Dag’s work with an ensemble of ten musicians that includes a self-built synthesizer, electronic instruments, reeds and brass, and percussion.
Aar & Dag’s approach to composition and performance is non-hierarchic and prioritizes a collective sonic entity, with no leader, no solos or obvious center to the music,as if the entire construction of instruments and players is one instrument, or as the ensemble calls it – the collective instrumentarium. The title «Tifold af Fri Form og Fælles Motiv» implies the tension between freedom and form, and free and abstract music to motif and melody, but attempts to suspend these two compositional approaches in a kind of spontaneous and intuitive interaction.
«Tifold af Fri Form og Fælles Motiv» revolves around the sounds of a new, self-built synthesizer depicted on the cover, the clock wheel sequencer, mounted on a stand with a crank handle and a series of small metal points attached to the wheel’s body. As the wheel is rotated, magnets placed in different positions trigger an electronic sensor on the wheel’s base, creating a pattern of sound at different pitches and speeds, with variations dictated by the hands of the musicians. As the wheel is rotated, magnets placed in different positions trigger an electronic sensor on the wheel’s base, creating a pattern of sound at different pitches and speeds, with variations dictated by the hands of the musicians. This new synth capture the essence of
The new synth captures the essence of «Tifold af Fri Form og Fælles Motiv», sounds that keep moving around in a kaleidoscopic flow, reconfiguring themselves constantly, like a series of ever-widening waves, inwards and outwards. Common senses of time, pulse and space become blurry as Aar & Dag plays like a giant feedback loop, expanding and contracting the rotating waves, and methodically altering the fabric of the music. This cerebral, daring approach does not diminish the organic flow of the music, its sudden but engaging playfulness, its subtle lyricism, or its coherence. It just sounds like music with no clear beginning or end, circling around itself.
Magnus Bak (tb), Victor Dybbroe (perc), Mads Pind Forsby (gong wheel, perc), Lars Greve (cl, ss), Oliver Laumann (perc), Anders Lauge Meldgaard (clock wheel sequencer, synth, EWI), Jakob Munck (tb, sousaphone, pocket-tp), Michael Mørkholt (clock wheel sequencer, synth), Andreas Pallisgaard (clock wheel sequencer, synth), Anders Vestergaard (perc)