Magnus Granberg & Skogen | Nun, es wird nicht weit mehr gehen
Another Timbre (CD/DL)
‘Well, it won’t be much longer’ or ‘Now, there won’t be much more walking‘ – roughly translated (depending) breathes certain light into this latest composition by Magnus Granberg as performed by Swedish group Skogen:
Anna Lindal & Angharad Davies – violin
Leo Svensson Sander – cello
Erik Carlsson – percussion
John Eriksson – vibraphone
Henrik Olsson – persussion, objects
Petter Wästberg – contact microphones, mixing board
d’incise – electronics, objects
Magnus Granberg – prepared piano
At just about an hour in length this fairly sizable ensemble settle in together for the duration. At first I am struck by the way the violin swerves around the gorgeous tone of the vibraphone, aided by the assorted creaking and minimal percussion. They seem to be warming up, and to each other with a bit of an iciness at first, scoping the territory. By contorting dissonant tones and higher pitch they ultimately adjust the setting to “stun” in that it would likely be hard to ignore the groups abstract patterns and fractured harmonies which fade in/out. I’m focused on the balancing power of the vibes here, and secondly on the quietude of the intimate corners played out on Granberg’s suspenseful keys which offer the deep breaths here.
Elsewhere in the percussive echoes it sounds like someone is playing handball, while other tiny radio frequency transmissions come through. The birdcalls are unexpected, and perfectly meld with the singular strings plucked. Since this is my introduction to Granberg’s work (though I’ve since also listened to his brilliant Es schwindelt mir, es brennt mein Eingeweide, also on Another Timbre) I’m fascinated by the time signatures, and precision in the improv here. I appreciate all the croaking and crackle mustered between the piano postulation, the amount of breath allowed as the nine piece moves forward. It has one foot in the romanticism of Schubert and Berlioz while treading firmly within a sketchy, unwritten tomorrow. This is risky post-classical with a smart modern twist.