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På skive



SOLW is the duo of Danish-American experimental sax player Sonja LaBianca , known from the Selvhenter and Valby Vokalgruppe bands and the collective of musicians Eget Vaerelse, and Danish visual artist and guitarist Heine Thorhauge Mathiasen, whose work focuses around site-specific, meta-narrative stagings of sculpture, video, sound works and found objects. SOLW began performing in the spring of 2017 and since then performed on the art and music scenes in Japan, Denmark and other parts of Europe.

The name SOLW has no specific meaning but a distortion of the word slow, referring to the slow pace of the music, as well as underlining the distorted soundscapes saturated in effects. SOLW incorporate into its music a rotating sound sculpture by the name ‘right now, an almost perfectly circular orbit‘, which adds a third, active dimension of field recordings, and synthesizers, all enabling further search into timbral variation. The saxophone and guitar are amplified and effects-laden, but leaving enough space for the acoustic resonance of the instruments and the duo uses the recording rooms as a dynamic, auditive impression.

The 14 short pieces are structured as a continuous suite that suggests a dreamy, meditative soundscape, out-of-time, and out-of-place but sometimes disturbed by abrupt noises and samples of human voices, inspired by Canadian intermedia artist Gerald Ferguson who compiled a dictionary for poets who use words as sound material for composing concrete-visual poetry. The music moves gently between conceptual scores and free-improvisation but always evolves in minimalist-melodic, polyphonic, drone-like ballads. The long, resonant guitar lines of Thorhauge Mathiasen ground the patient, introspective interplay while the processed, ethereal sound of LaBianca alto sax soars high in atmospheric skies, but occasionally injects brief jazz references. The variations in the mood, dynamics, or the overall sound are minimal and slow, letting each sound grow and bloom in its own accord until it reaches its full, suggestive effect. The accumulative effect is even stronger, introducing the listener into a compassionate, peaceful state of mind.

This debut album of SOLW is released together with two video-sound works. The video artists Paola Paleariand Magnus Frederik Clausen, and Mia Edelgart and Sebastian Hedevang interpreted the music of the duo, and one of these works, «Death Loop», by Edelgart and Hedevang is now in the city of Copenhagen’s art collection.

Eyal Hareuveni

Heine Thorhauge Mathiasen (g), Sonja LaBianca (as)

Death Loop (SOLW, Reprise) from Eget Værelse on Vimeo.

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