Søren Kjærgaard: Concrescence
Digitally - 27-04-2018
LP - 22-02-2019
Cat. nr. ILK277LP
Concrescence is a studio recorded solo piano album by the prominent Danish pianist and composer, Søren Kjærgaard. The album is part of a twin release on ILK that also includes the album Live At Freedom Music Festival.
On both albums Kjærgaard is engaged in how he can open a field of dialogue within the natural limitations of the solo format. Through a mix of conventional and extended instrument techniques that includes a versatile use of cluster sticks, he explores the multi-layered potentials of solo piano playing as a way of creating interplay between movements, speeds, textures and dynamics.
Where Live At Freedom Music Festival (ILK278LP) features Kjærgaard performing lengthy improvisations, Concrescence is more introspective in nature. Its pieces are short, concentrated microcosmoses that unfold in a dialogue between composition and improvisation, between concept and the immediacy of the moment. The influences are manifold, both pointing toward the expressive minimalism of composer Morton Feldman, the dense clusters of composer and pianist, Henry Cowell and the indeterminacy of composer John Cage and pianist David Tudor. Another thread of influences is also woven into the work, namely that of more contemporary voices such as pianist Cory Smythe and composer Nico Muhly.
The two albums are some of the results of an artistic research project entitled Multi-layeredness In Solo Performance that was carried out by Søren Kjærgaard at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen in 2016-2018. During his research project he has performed solo and given talks in Tokyo, Oslo, San Francisco, Zürich and Copenhagen.
Søren Kjærgaard (b. 1978) is a Copenhagen-based pianist who’s work as a composer and improviser encompasses a variety of settings, including solo performances, trans-Atlantic collaborations with musicians such as Andrew Cyrille, Billy Hart and Thomas Morgan, duo collaborations with the prolific Danish composer Simon Steen-Andersen and the Danish-Norwegian trio, Living Room, led together with Thomas Strønen (NO) and Torben Snekkestad (NO).
This has lead to international tours, exchanges, residencies and a growing discography of critically acclaimed albums of which the four trio albums Optics, Open Opus, Femklang and Syvmileskridt with drummer Andrew Cyrille and bassist Ben Street stand as an original take on the classic piano trio format.
Among others, Søren Kjærgaard has also performed with Thomasz Stanko, Paul Lovens, John Edwards, Fred Frith, Koichi Makigami, Tim Berne, Stephen Bernstein, Jim Black, Jakob Bro and Kresten Osgood
"Though, the music is based on Scandinavian avant-garde jazz, it’s also has many relations of bebop, hard-bop, post bop, cool, and other modern jazz styles. These episodes are masterfully combined together with fascinating musical experiments, free improvisation, creative and free jazz." (Avantscena)
"A double style exercise with the theme of artistically responsible filling of silence and space. Also a balancing act between meditative intimacy and calculated geometry. Released on the Danish ILK label, a house of confidence when it comes to free improvisation and groundbreaking music." (Jazzenzo)
"Through both recordings Kjærgaard hits the listener right in the heart. He acts almost like a surgeon who enters the listener's body to find the innermost parts of the soul. Or maybe it's rather his own soul he lets us get in on, as he, at times, exposes himself completely through the two records." (Saltpeanuts)
"Kjærgaard weaves these distinct attitudes into a rich and highly personal thesis about the multi-layered potential of the solo piano format." (Freejazz Blog)