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JAKOB DAVIDSEN

«Silence Trio 3»
ILK MUSIC, ILK305

Danish composer-pianist Jakob Davidsen concludes his Silence Trios triptych with a trio featuring Danish double-bass player Jesper Eglund, known for his many years of membership and leadership of the legendary Danish new music ensemble, Figura Ensemble, and Norwegian drummer Thomas Strønen, leader of the Time is a Blind Guide ensemble. This trio continues the serene, quite silent veins explored with previous Silence Trios, claiming that «when the whole world is shouting on the top of each other you can either choose to participate with even louder and more penetrating shouts. Or you can keep silent or speak in a low voice insisting that the silent and the subdued may reveal more depths and nuances than any superficial roar».

«Silence Trio 3» focuses on art, artists, or movements in arts, as sonic meditations and thoughts on a few iconic paintings, the painters, the philosophy, and the spiritual schools. The album begins and ends with tributes to the Danish painter Wilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916). The opening piece «Interiør (Hammershøi)» (1899) abstracts beautifully the poetic, subdued colors of Hammershøi into a dreamy, poetic piece. The last piece «Dust Motes Dancing in the Sunbeams (Hammershøi)» (1900), after one of the masterpieces paintings of Danish Culture, is another poetic, minimalist meditation on about form, flow, colors, and shades.

«Ever so slow, but still in Motion (The Art of Zen)» captures some elusive essence of many expressions of Zen Buddhism and the arts, a feeling of out-of-time-and-place that comes with a sense of a continuous, inevitable flow of time. «Lazy Afternoon (Non-figurative)» introduces a dimension of playfulness to the interplay of Davidsen, Eglund, and Strønen, but a cerebral, highly structured one. «Klar formiddag (ny enkelhed)» salutes the art of the Danish composers from the Ny enkelhed (New Simplicity) movement that reacted against the European avant-garde of the fifties and sixties. The Silence trio distills itself to the basic, melodic contours of this piece.

«The party is Over/On (Avantgarde/Modernism)» is, obviously, the most free-form piece, an urgent, rigorous free-improvisation that stresses the unique contributions of Eglund and Strønen. «Into the Matter (Per Kirkeby)» is a tribute to the Danish painter-sculptor (1938-2018) known for his interest in geology and natural environments and this piece suggests a kind of liquid architecture, moving in straight, disciplined lines. «Isolation (Munch)», a tribute to the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944), and brings some Nordic melancholia, so familiar from many seminal ECM albums.

Listen carefully to these silent, intense meditations. You may find a whole universe in every note and gesture. A magnificent conclusion to a great trilogy.

Eyal Hareuveni

Jakob Davidsen (p), Thomas Strønen (dr), Jesper Egelund (b)

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