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«Live in Cologne»

The German-Norwegian Letters From Nowhere began to work on its music during the Covid-19 pandemic’s lockdowns. The German young pianist Clara Vetter and Norwegian guitarist Håvard Nordberg Funderud (of Master Oogway quartet) and bassist Petter Asbjørnsen (who plays with Funderud in The Birds Sing A Pretty Song sextet) kept sending fragments of music and compositional ideas. They exchanged files and discussed the shared compositional process in weekly Zoom meetings. The geographical distances did not stop them and when Vetter had a chance to play a concert in Copenhagen, Funderud and Asbjørnsen added their prerecorded material while Vetter was improvising. 

Later on, when these three musicians began to tour as the Letters From Nowhere trio they met young German, Cologne-based drummer Fabian Arends and he joined the trio as a special guest for a concert at Cologne’s legendary club,  Loft, which was documented in Live in Cologne. Arends’ work with the modular synth extends the quartet’s way of integrating sampling and live processing and like Vetter, Funderud and Asbjørnsen he has strong connections to the vibrant Copenhagen jazz scene. 

Vetter’s visual work of symbols and shapes was used for Live in Cologne cover artwork, but her colorful and emotional impressions also inspired her dynamics with Funderud and Asbjørnsen. The three pieces still sound like work-in-progress, all are untitled and are open and adventurous multi-layered improvisations that search and explore the sonic palette of this quartet. These slow-cooking improvisations flirt with fusion, cosmic prog-rock, noise and ambient and flow on their own accord and with their inner logic. 

Eyal Hareuveni 

Clara Vetter (piano, sampler), Håvard Nordberg Funderud (guitar, sampler, live processing), Petter Asbjørnsen (bass, sampler), Fabian Arends (drums, modular synthesizer)