Swedish double bass player Johannes Nästesjö splits his time between Barcelona and Malmö before returning to the southern Swedish city. One of his Catalan collaborators was master pianist Agustí Fernández. The two have recorded a self-titled debut duo album in Fernández house, outside Barcelona, on February 2013 (Konvoj Records, 2014), and collaborated later on in Fernández Liquid group and in conductor-trumpeter Iván González’s Memoria Uno («Sons Of Liberty. Live at Granollers», (MultiKulti Project, 2017).
Fernández and Nästesjö sophomore duo album was recorded live at the Inter Arts Center in Malmö on September 2014. Its title, «Like listening with your fingertips», reflects writer Thomas Millroth impression of this live performance: «I get the impression that they seek, scraping their way through layers of surfaces until they can at least sense it … because that’s where it starts, that’s where the energy has its source. Like listening with your fingertips».
This poetic reflection captures the essence of the fantastic 36-minutes improvisation. Fernández and Nästesjö managed to create a unique sonic entity where the piano strings extend the double bass strings and and the bull fiddle wooden body blends into the grand piano body. Both Fernández and Nästesjö hardly use conventional playing techniques – bowing or playing the piano keys, only towards the surprising lyrical coda of this piece. For them the grand piano and the double bass are just wooden and metal objects that generate sounds, all kinds of sounds and all are relevant and beautiful. Both rub, scrap, caress, sometimes even bow and hammer, but more often push their instruments to their outer limits. This uncompromising, unconventional approach would not have worked unless Fernández and Nästesjö have developed an almost telepathic deep, listening language of their own. Their language is nuanced, imaginative and always daring, subverting common conceptions and beliefs, but flowing with intense energy and suggesting a powerful vision.
Agustí Fernández (p), Johannes Nästesjö (b)