«Aleatoric Anthems and Palindromes» is a set of compositions by Swedish experimental composer-sound artists-scholar-theorist Lars Bröndum, performed by The Aleatoric Ensemble – recorder player My Eklund, sax player Per Gärdin, pianist Lisa Ullén, reeds player Daniel Borgegård Älgå and Bröndum on modular synths, theremin and objects (he also did the cover art). The music was recorded and mixed by Bröndum in 2020 and 2021.
According to Bröndum, the «Aleatoric Anthem»s were meant to generate ironic anthems as a commentary on the unfortunate resurgence of nationalism during the Corona pandemic. These ironic anthems were based on a one-page graphical score, mostly produced by software programmed by Bröndum, who sees all the anthems as variations on the same piece. The lucky counties that won these anthems are Mauritius, Namibia, Paraguay, Gambia, Togo, Ireland and Denmark, but no worries, it seems – and sounds – unlikely that any of these countries would adopt these subversive anthems, despite their special kind of otherworldly yet quite suggestive, chamber electronic pathos, especially the one composed for Togo, played solo by Bröndum with alien resonant objects that reference remotely African drumming, or the one composed for Denmark that may sound as Swedish ridicule of thefun-loving Danes. Gärdin is the closest partner of Bröndum in these adventurous sonic games, as the two collaborated in a few projects in recent years. You can find in Bröndum’s Bandcamp six more volumes of hymns, preludes, canons and soundscapes to 134 countries on this planet.
The two «Palindromes» pieces are part of a suite of ten short pieces, all last about two minutes. Bröndum devised graphically notated scores with indeterminate elements in that the palindromes may be played in any direction – original, inversion, retrograde, or in retrograde inversion and in any order. The suite is arranged for Gärdin’s sax and Bröndum’s live electronics and fixed media, and both create nuanced and cinematic sonic storms.
Bröndum and Gärdin continue to explore detailed electroacoustic soundscapes on their third duo album «A Matter Of Time» (both of them also collaborate in a trio with double bass player Mats Dimming), recorded live at Larry’s Corner in Stockholm in August 2021. The three extended, dense and restless pieces suggest how the extended breathing techniques and cyclical sounds of Gärdin’s sax extend the vintage electronic sounds of Bröndum, and vice versa, and together offer vivid and mysterious journeys in deep space when they are equipped with elusive sense of time.
Per Gärdin (as, ss), My Eklund (contrabass recorder), Lars Bröndum (modular synths), Buchla Easel (theremin, sound generating obj), Daniel Borgegård Älgå (fl, bcl), Lisa Ullén (p)