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Søren Kjærgaard: Live at Freedom Music Festival

Søren Kjærgaard: Live at Freedom Music Festival

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Release date:

Digitally - 27-04-2018

LP - 22-02-2019

Cat. nr. ILK278LP

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 Live At Freedom Music Festival captures prominent Danish pianist and composer, Søren Kjærgaard in live performance on September 1st, 2017. The album is part of a twin release on ILK that also include the album Concrescence (ILK277LP). On both albums Kjærgaard is engaged in how he can open a differential field of potential within the natural limitations of the solo format. Through a mix of conventional and extended instrument practice 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. Between clouds and particles of sound. His pianistic work seeks to converge rhythmic flexibility, expressive minimalism, cantabile melodicism and an expanded use of silence. 

Where the music on Concrescence is more introspective in nature, Live At Freedom Music Festival features Kjærgaard performing more lengthy improvisations unfolded through a more extrovert and contrastful use of the piano.

We hear Kjærgaard’s deep interest in the approaches and techniques of experimental composer: from Henry Cowell’s “cluster-sticks” and dense sound clouds over Morton Feldman’s expressive minimalism to the indeterminacy of John Cage and David Tudor. At the same time, the music is grounded in the solo piano tradition of jazz music: from Earl Hines to Cecil Taylor, From Monk to Paul Bley and beyond.

And from here, located somewhere between jazz, improvisation and experimental music, we hear Kjærgaard working his way into the project’s focal point, namely the spontaneous interaction between different sounding layers - airy, transparent, turbulent - borne by a continual attention to the singing potential of each individual tone.

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



See the album Concrescence.

"The last, most lyrical and emotional “Sixth Movement” converges best Kjærgaard’s imaginative, spontaneous ideas of rhythmic flexibility, abstract minimalism and cantabile melodicism." (Freejazz Blog)

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