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«Suite To Be You And Me»

The attached video-clips to the «Suite To Be You And Me» – the collaboration of the Danish, Aarhus-based sextet I Think You’re Awesome and the Berlin-Aarhus-based Taïga String Quartet shows a lot of smiling faces, and for a good reason. This suite celebrates a happy event in the life of the sextet leader, bass player Jens Mikkel, his marriage to his awesome one, cellist Maria Edlund from the Taïga String Quartet, and, obviously, the musical marriage of these two indie outfits. But Mikkel’s compositions for I Think You’re Awesome always suggested unique uplifting, optimistic qualities in his search for beautiful and moving music.

The seven-parts suite encompasses different aspects of two busy artists who share many interests and connections but also address troubling issues as geographical distance, inner doubts, despair, and anxiety. The chamber, string quartet corresponds gently with the vintage-folky sound of I Think You’re Awesome, stressing the guitar of Alex Jønsson and the banjo of Morten Kærup plus the atmospheric keyboards of Lars Fill. Together they offer thoughtful and introspective textures, first more reserved and impressionistic than previous works of the sextet. But, slowly I Think You’re Awesome returns to its joyful, layered rhythmic comfort zone, letting Mikkel and Edlund lead with a set of their very private dances, literally. The story-like suite reaches its emotional climax on the sixth part, «The Good Fight», where it distills its beautiful, intimate dances to its barest, most vulnerable essentials, and immediately afterward concludes with a happier, moving note, «The Wedding» itself.

«Suite To Be You And Me» is the first one in a trilogy of collaborative releases I Think You’re Awesome prepared for 2020.  The following one will be a singer-songwriter and jazz mash-up containing songs by Mikkel’s brother, Thomas Madsen, and the third one will present orchestral arrangements of composer Signe Bisgaard for the sextet and the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra for I Think You’re Awesome previous suite, «The Kiss Your Darlings Suite» (Jaeger Community Music, 2018).

Eyal Hareuveni

Morten Kærup (bjo, g), Alex Jønsson (g), Lars Fiil (Wurlitzer, synth), Frej Lesner (el. perc), Andreas Skamby (dr), Jens Mikkel (b) Taïga String Quartet – Louise Gorm (vio), Jessica Ling (vio), Madlen Breckbill (viola), Maria Isabel Edlund (c)

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