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Ivar Grydeland: Stop Freeze Wait Sleep -… from the upcoming album stop freeze wait eat

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Ivar Grydeland is probably best known as a member of improvisational bands such as Huntsville and Ballrogg as well as Dans les Arbres (ECM), which was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize this year. He also plays distinctive pop with Hanne Hukkelberg and instrumental rock with the band Finland, who released their debut album on the Hubro label earlier this year.

His solo debut album, Bathymetric Modes, was released in 2012 and received glowing reviews. All About Jazz’s reviewer wrote: “Grydeland has delivered an album that, in its combination of lyrical beauty, attractive sound worlds and left-of-center concerns, deserves to place him on the same international radar alongside his better-known Norwegian colleagues.”

The album Stop Freeze Wait Eat spins a fascinatingly gentle and complex spider web connecting categories and genres such as hi-fi and lo-fi, drones, abstract electronica, improv and Americana. Loren Connors, Oren Ambarchi and Terry Riley are obvious references here. The album is the result of work with an artistic PhD project called “Ensemble of Me” at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. Ivar wanted to make it possible to create ensemble music as a solo performer. He tried to forge an “extended now” by improvising on top of sounds that he had played 10-12 seconds earlier. “I work in the same way that I imagine a visual artist works: taking a step back to reconsider before he returns to the canvas. I like that alternation between intuition and reflection when I’m working in the studio.”

Ivar Grydeland plays acoustic and electric guitars, pedal steel and banjo, using a mixture of preparation techniques, fingerpicking, various bows, metal, propellers and electronics. He teaches at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and is one of the founders of the Sofa label. Grydeland’s original and personal music can be perceived as both abstract and demanding, but is at the same time appealing as it draws the listener into a range of musical landscapes and atmospheres.

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