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Peter Jensen, Morten Büchert & DR Big Band: Light Through Leaves

Peter Jensen, Morten Büchert & DR Big Band: Light Through Leaves

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On ‘Light Through Leaves’ samples and sound fragments from recordings of symphonic works by Denmark’s foremost classical composer - Carl Nielsen (1865-1931) – form the basis for new compositions played by The Danish Radio Big Band. Created by Peter Jensen & Morten Büchert, the album investigates whether Nielsen's music can be recontextualised and become relevant today. ’Light Through Leaves’ is the third in a series of innovative and acclaimed big band recordings by Peter Jensen on ILK.

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Nielsen's birth in 2015, composer Peter Jensen was commissioned to create a tribute to his famous compatriot for the Danish Radio Big Band. Instead of “jazzing up” Nielsen's themes, Jensen’s idea was to leave fragments of Nielsen's music respectfully untouched and let the new composition interweave around and play contrapuntally with the fragments to create new shades and perspectives on the music of Nielsen

To accomplish this idea, it became crucial that the collaboration with music producer Morten Büchert - who has also played a prominent role on the previous ILK releases - was further developed. Instead of being involved in the postproduction phase, Morten Büchert and Peter Jensen have created loops and soundscapes as the outset for the new composition – not as a postproduction afterthought.

An essential artistic method was - inspired by Italian architect Carlo Scarpas restoration of the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona - to let the natural voids in Nielsen's music define the shape of the new composition. In other words: to compose a kind of "negative" reflection on Nielsen’s work. In order for the listener to be able to perceive this premise, it was important that the Danish Radio Big Band only played the new compositions and barely touched Nielsen’s themes.

The dissemination of this cross-aesthetic take also required that Nielsen be distilled into short repeated statements, for the listener to better experience how the new themes grow and fill-in the voids. The distillation of Nielsen into these short statements was done by methodically listening to his six symphonies and identifying musical micro signatures that for Peter Jensen and Morten Büchert appeared as essential statements in what can be perceived as Carl Nielsen's artistic language.

‘Light Through Leaves’ contributes a new method of reprocessing Danish musical heritage with both courage and respect. The music is made available to the listener in a way that both actualizes Carl Nielsen's symphonic work and at the same time is carried by a renewed and strong aesthetic in tone and form language. It is a new take on the often barren encounter between the large jazz ensemble and classical music.

Catalogue #: ILK314LP
Release date: 15-01-2021

- Peter Jensen: Concept, Compositions & Orchestrations
- Morten Büchert: Concept, Compositions, Music Production
- The Danish Radio Big Band 

Get Peter Jensen’s full big band trilogy:


Light Through Leaves is in fact a deeply original, completely fascinating, almost dramatic acquaintanceship
- Ivan Rod

Jensen and Büchert created a fascinating, lyrical work of give-and-take between the refined and well-structured classical music and the liberating power of a large jazz ensemble. This work respects both sides of this challenging equation and offers new sonic possibilities for the 21st century big bands.
- Eyal Hareuveni, Salt Peanuts*

Pure symphonic poetry that resonates the spirit of his (Carl Nielsen’s) oeuvre in all its glory.
- Georges Tonla Briquet, Jazz’halo

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