Locusts and Honey documents the debut album of the Copenhagen-based duo of Australian sax player Calum Builder and Canadian pianist Matt Choboter. Builder and Choboter met during their post-graduate studies together at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen and their album highlights a labor of kindred friendship. Both Builder and Choboter established themselves in the local Danish scene. Builder recorded Murmuration (Barefoot, 2023) with a local ensemble and Choboter collaborated with local heroes Lotte Anker, Maria Faust and Peter Bruun.
Locusts and Honey was conceived and recorded during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown and recorded at St. Augustine’s Church in Copenhagen. Obviously, radiates the emergence of a new period of immense expressive and aesthetic change. It does not offer clear comfort. It has a fragile and unsettling atmosphere, lyrical and melancholic, and cinematic and dark, but its sublime ambiance still stresses the healing power of music, even just the acts of playing and creating music. Builder and Choboter sound as if they are holding on to the last vestiges of past musical selves.
This album is a faithful reflection of the stressful times of the lockdowns, and most likely would not exist in any other time pocket. The nine improvised pieces suggest the rich musical languages of Builder and Choboter and the experimental tendencies, moving freely between modern and free jazz to free music and contemporary music and even familiar, reserved Nordic jazz. Locusts and Honey offers a thoughtful, contemplative meditation about the perils of modern times, in which we can experience – or even choose – the biblical plague of the locusts but also the joy of tasting honey.
Matt Choboter (piano), Calum Builder (saxophone)