Christer Lindwall

Christer LindwallRhizome
Phono Suecia PSCD 154. Duration: 74:35

Stefan Östersjö [alto guitar / guitar / electric guitar] – Bodil Rørbech [violin] –
Andreas Hagman [violin] – Markus Falkbring [viola] – David Peterson [cello] –
Jörgen Pettersson [alto saxophone] – Ivo Nilsson [trombone] –
Magnus Andersson [electric guitar] – Jonny Axelsson [percussion] –
Terje Thiwång [flute] – Carl-Johan Stjernström [clarinet] –
Sven Buller [oboe] – Peter Spissky [violin] – Torbjörn Helander [viola] –
Johan Stern [cello] – Björn Lovén [trumpet] – Jan Emil Kuisma [double bass] –
Olle Sjöberg [piano]

Quartetto Ars Nova,
Ensemble SON
Ensemble Ars Nova, Harald Eikass [cond.]
Kulchural Archipelagos Quintet
The Gageego Ensemble, Pierre-André Valade [cond.]

1. A Certain Ratio (1998 - 1999) [11:41]:

2. Earth Bow (1996) [9:47]

3. En millimeter ljus (1996 - 1997) [11:47]

4. Wenn sie so, dann ich so und Pferd fliegt (2000) [17:01]

5. White Nights (2000 - 2002) [23:57]

The connecting tissue of this collection of Christer Lindwall musical works is the artistry and technical skill of guitarist Stefan Östersjö, and the intellectual observations of the CD leaflet also come from the realm of Stefan Östersjö. The modern chamber set-ups herein experienced all form around the same Östersjö, so Phono Suecia has made this issue a Lindwall-Östersjö duo of sorts.
In the booklet Östersjö speaks of his long and deep collaboration with Christer Lindwall, and what the artistic and also personal dialog between the two artists has meant, and which has basically materialized in the scores spread across the binary expanses of
Phono Suecia CD 154.

Aiming at an explanation of the concept Rhizome, which constitutes the title of the CD, Östersjö engages in recollections of phases of the intellectual anamnesis of writers and thinkers like Umberto Eco and Gilles Deleuzes. In that realm,
Rhizome may provide a springboard into the music of Christer Lindwall; a philosophically oriented investigation into and questioning of the patterns of though prevalent through our days. In a Rhizome system, in a non-linear world, any one point can connect to any other point, contrary to the circumstances in the hierarchy of a tree. Further explaining the relevance of Rhizome in the CD Rhizome, Östersjö mentions the reciprocal relations between various works in the collection, though no quotes or material loans can be found. Östersjö talks about complex fabrics of inherent possibilities, wherein hierarchies only possess temporary stabilities, and focuses keep shifting. The writer’s language becomes sheer poetry here, poetry and poetic philosophy.

Östersjö continues, and I quote/translate:

Let’s sum up the fundamental features of the Rhizome. Contrary to trees or their roots, the Rhizome connects any which a point to any other point, not necessarily bound by traits of common nature, setting quite other sign regimes in motion, even states of non-signs. The Rhizome can’t be reduced either to One or Many. It is not One that becomes Two, or even directly Three, Four, Five etcetera. It is not a Multiplicity derived from One, or unto which One is added. It is not composed of Units, but by Dimensions, and even Dimensions in motion.

One seriously interesting aspect of this philosophical/choreographic way of regarding musical/compositional/performed sound art emerges in Östersjö’s struggle to understand and describe the composer’s ambition of having notation appear closely in the musicians handling of his instrument, “in confrontation with performance technical and perceptual challenges”. He says that interpretation/gestique isn’t but “a matter of musical enclosures but also a choreography of motions across fret boards”, and “a complex interplay between motions through various dimensions, like timbre, pitch, density and visual transfers”.

This is probably one of the most roundabout precise and illusory explanations of modern chamber music that I’ve ever read. I immediately come to think of the mineral water music of Brian Ferneyhough and some of the brightest and most incisive young Finnish and French l’enfants terribles of Cosmos Café in the 1980s… Brilliant writing; getting at the core of dry sensualism from every direction!

Östersjö also, in connection with Christer Lindwall, talks about the merger of incompatible elements, and the variation of a few basic structures, “music in the field of tension between serial constructs and intuitive sound compositions”.

Let me say that I, as a language connoisseur, enjoy Stefan Östersjö’s essay here just as much as his playing on the CD! Great stuff!

Let me listen through a couple of the works on the CD:

Track 1. A Certain Ratio [1998 – 1999] (11:41)

Stefan Östersjö [alto guitar]
Quartetto Ars Nova: Bodil Rørbech [violin] – Andreas Hagman [violin] – Markus Falkbring [viola] – David Peterson [cello]

The title itself is almost comically typical of a certain bent-back kind of showing-off introvertism, but if you can be a little lenient with that, the music in itself is highly interesting, quite complex (of course!) and also glowing with a luster of timbre and color of sound that smokes with transparent overtones.
As in much of the best of this delicate and intellectual sonic voyeurism, the score is sprayed with the imprints of small insect steps and any multitude of pointillist expressions, but again, this is said with a smile and with good intentions, because I really love this music, just the way it sounds and the way it makes me feel, lying on my back in a summer meadow, butterflies around me, swallows sweeping by and ants trickling across my foot. It’s tickling and fondling summer day music! A bottle of mineral water must be in reach, in a cool bag!

Track 4. Wenn sie so, dann ich so und Pferd fliegt [2000] (17:01)

Kulchural Archipelagos Quintet: Stefan Östersjö [electric guitar] – Björn Lovén [trumpet] – Jan Emil Kuisma [double bass] – Olle Sjöberg [piano] – Jonny Axelsson [percussion]

This is the one of the most extended works on the CD, and also one of the latest. It is the one piece that impresses me the most, that stays with me in a certain sentiment, a special atmosphere, long after the music ceases, the way good art always does. The intricacy is here, too, like in the other works, but it is not, by any means, the main thing, but simply a side effect of other concerns. Seems to me that timbre, color, sensualism, temperature were more grave concerns to Christer Lindwall in this composition – and there was no need to… hurry!

The double bass renders a deep bounce; the trumpet adds the withheld glare of lyricism; the piano talks in irregular patterns of blue, sea-ground stones on the shore; the percussion brings in amber curtains of rain showers and sudden dark clouds, dark sails tilting towards a low ocean glare; the electric guitar dips its circling finger into the oily surface of the harbor dock…

The general sensation is that of a self-evident course of events, in a beauty that goes with the territory: gracefully.

Slow, sparse, light strokes of the brush: bleak light seasons: fingertip score.