Jonas Hellborg (Bass), Shawn Lane (guitar), Jeff Sipe (Drums)
The House Stands Still - In a remote area of Southern Sweden, three musicians played an acoustic concert for a small audience. The art gallery where they played had previously been a barn where pigs and sheep and cows lived. It is an open, light-filled, wooden structure, airy acoustic. Outside, snowdrift, clouds, trees, tractors, a thrift shop across the road.
During the performance, spontaneous melodies occurred, sometimes in unison. Nothing was planned because music cannot be planned. It happens or it doesn't. You are lucky if it happens and luckier if you reach those peaks where what you are saying speaks. Reflection, contemplation, levels of consciousness, dreaming. It's all in the fingers. The house you inhabit. Jonas and Shawn, limiting themselves to one or two or three notes of a skeletal scale, dwell, linger; phrases swell in the search for a satisfying interval. Tension. A blistering finale, resolution. Music, a center, a unity of space and place. Shawn's and Jonas's lines are at times indistinguishable. Sipe plays cymbals, bells, a bongo, snare skin with brushes, finger-splashed beats with water from melted snow in a boat-shaped vase. The slow roar of a cymbal played with mallets.
Today, with lines of communication becoming shorter and shorter in a global culture, influences come to us from everywhere, and from everywhere else. But in order to understand a culture you have to go there, eat the food, walk around and see the houses. Transcribing and seeing notes just won't do it. By allowing the music to happen without preconception, the musicians allow themselves to express any type of influence that they come across. A brain surgeon and a football player in the same room together might quickly run out of things to say to each other. A common vocabulary, a structure, a pool of interests are needed in order to communicate, to play music. "It doesn't matter if my name is this or that or who I am or where I come from and what I've done", Jonas once said to a surprised interviewer. What matters is what's left when you have forgotten everything you know. Traces end here. - Philippe Aronson