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Jonas Westergaard Trio: Positioner / Positions

Jonas Westergaard Trio: Positioner / Positions

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Following the praised and award winning debut album Helgoland, commissioned by Danish Radio Broadcast, which offered writings for soloists and large ensemble, Positions / Positions presents three compositions in an intimate setting of piano, bass and drums. The music was written for and performed by a septet at the Serious Series Festival in Berlin in 2013. The present revision of the three com- positions owe its orchestral quality partly to the fact, that it was written for seven instrumentalists, but more importantly to the fact that each of the three performers involved here make equal investigations into the fields of neue musik as they do into experimental jazz forms and folk forms.


Opening the album with a slow motif stated by the bass, it exemplifies the overall patience, that is used to a dramatic effect throughout the album. This becomes a statement in itself. Here is dealt with what you could call a modern folk form, with a melodic material even reminiscent of Norwegian romantic composer Edvard Grieg. The outer voices of the triadic chords in the piano played on top of the bass melody, serve as the two series (reihen) that the rest of the composition is built upon. Here, the serial thinking is of a melodic character.


The serial thinking here is of rhythmical character. The main theme is played once, and what then follows is 9 variations on that same rhythmical form - a form whose visual expression has found its way on to the cover. The 9 variations - or positions - use specific modes taken from the main theme, spanning from just two notes to nine notes, clusters or noise. Somewhere around the middle the form is opened, and the three musicians improvise collectively before returning to the last positions on the form. The bass is bowed almost throughout the entire performance, often using harmonics, which adds to that orchestral color inherent in the piece. A piece of quite a modernistic nature.


The nature sung of in Ack Värmland, du sköna is that of the southern part of Sweden, and the opening line of the piece bears a certain resemblance to this popular folk song. Even though the rich rhythms and the dissonances throughout the piece suggests another view on folk music, a more modernistic approach if you like, the psalm quality is kept and the modal improvisation only adds to this psalm/church music quality. Here the drums make use of very polyrhythmical structures, that together with the bass offers the soloist a multitude of layers to use for the expansion of the form.

The three performers is here heard for the first time together on an album devoted entirely to the trio formate. On Positioner / Positioner the music is that of Jonas Westergaard, on future albums we will be hearing material from all of its three members. In near future. Until then, turn up the stereo or put on headphones and dive into Positioner / Positions.

Catalogue #: ILK322
Release date: 03-Sep-2021

Jonas Westergaard - Bass
Peter Bruun - Drums
Søren Kjærgaard - Piano

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