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Mid-Norway Centre of Jazz
Producer, project manager:
Njål Ølnes (leader)
Jan Ole Otnæs
After two successful releases earlier in 2011, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra concludes an exciting year with the album "Migrations", in collaboration with composer Øyvind Brække. Music and lyrics are products of a turbulent time. The ingredients include the Israeli bombing of Gaza, struggle against authority and Norwegian pioneering spirit, and the result is a magnificent piece of music that comment on migration - and what unites people across cultural differences.
Composer / trombonist Øyvind Brække, known from the group The Source and participating in a long line of Norwegian jazz´ most important recordings and works, commenced work "Migrations" in autumn 2008 - a time which was very turbulent for the world. The escalation of the Gaza conflict, with the massive Israeli bombing raids, made a strong impression on Brække, and he decided to create a work that reflected upon the effects of war, specifically focusing on grief and the massive migrations caused by war.
- I chose the term "migration" as theme for the work, and started wondering how we welcome people from war zones, and how these people can adapt to a new culture. As well, I reflected on what makes us human and what unites us - cross-cultural differences, says Brække.
For lyrics, he has collaborated with the singer and lyricist Siri Gjære. - Together we read a lot of poetry, including the Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan, written during the Israeli-Lebanese war in the 80s, just to get an insight into the mentality of the Middle East. The notion that "the dead still live among the living" in these texts, has been an important perspective in the text work.
When we nevertheless decided to use Gjære´s own lyrics, inspired by the theme, it was because we wanted a perspective from our point of view - seen from our contemporary, he said.
Another inspiration was the French children's book about "Serafin and his marvellous masterpiece". This is the basis for a four movement suite. - I think it was appropriate to refer to this story, because I feel that how Serafin and his friend Plym struggle to save his house from demolition is a good metaphor for the individual's struggle against the authorities - a struggle that today's immigrants have to fight the same way, says Brække. "Migrations" also has references to the Norwegian culture, as the play "Bukkerittet" - inspired by Ibsen's "Peer Gynt" – Peers mendacious stories about his own excellence in the wild ride on a goat - as well as the folk tune "Håvard Hedde" with Arabic-inspired phrasing. These pieces are presented as metaphors on the Norwegian pioneer spirit - for better or for worse.
"Migrations" follows in the wake of Trondheim Jazzorkesters critically acclaimed releases "Kinetic Music" (with Magic Pocket) and "Morning Song" (with Per Zanussi) from earlier this year, as well as Grammy nominated "Triad And More" with American star saxophonist Joshua Redman in the autumn 2010.
6 of 6 stars
"A first class album!" Per Ivar Henriksbø, gd.no
5 of 6 stars
"Strong and substantial about emigrating people" Terje Mosnes. Dagbladet