Danish pianist-composer-educator Jacob Anderskov’s music often incorporates improvisation, coloring, or new ways of bridging the continuum between the composed and the undefined. He always works on expanding his sonic language which draws elements from Nordic jazz and contemporary music, as well as from other natural sources, as in his new album Emerald.
Emerald refers to both a color and a gemstone and Anderskov’s cycle of eight new compositions and structured improvisations was inspired by symmetrical organizational structures from nature, which we can find in starfish and coral – that we are so incredibly bad at taking care of – and precious stones, among others. Anderskov formed a chamber ensemble of six musicians – sax player Lotte Anker, reeds player Anders Banke, violist Henriette Groth, double bass player-cellist Nils Davidsen, drummer Peter Bruun and himself on the piano, all have worked together before over several decades. The work on Emerald began during the Covid-19 lockdowns and the album was recorded at The Village in Copenhagen in November 2021 and 2022. All the compositions of Emerald (and more) were published in Anderskov’s sheet music book, The Gemstone Series – 20 Sonic Complexion Miniatures (ILK Publishing, 2022)
The cover design of Mike Højgaard informs of Andrskov’s innovative, delicate and, obviously, colorful play with light, shadow and deep-dark colors. It also refers to the imaginative ways in which Anderskov weaves enigmatic but also organic and multi-dimensional textures. All these textures have their distinct inner symmetries, that keep alternating effortlessly between the spectral (and Anderskov explains: here in the sense of the overtone-oriented, post-human) and the expressive (here: an embodied, soulful expression with a background in human experiences.
Andrskov encourages freedom from his ensemble to interpret and experiment and explore the restrained mystery and tenderness towards the unfamiliar timbres in this new cycle of compositions and relies on their creative improvisational intuitions. Emerald is highly original, saturated and yet surprisingly transparent, performed in a beautiful and elegant and poetic manner.
Lotte Anker (ss, ts), Anders Banke (cl, bcl, alto fl), Henriette Groth (viola, cl), Jacob Anderskov (p), Nils Bo Davidsen (b, c), Peter Bruun (dr)