Saturday, July 4, 2015

Anders Lindsjö 13 Questions

Anders Lindsjö, improviser, guitarist, bass guitarist stepped in to the swedish improvised music arena 1989, after a couple of years playing the New York scene, participating on the legendary double album Sounds: a result of the first music festival presenting swedish improv music.

Lindsjö / Lonberg-Holm Photo N. Bergendal

Among other projects Lindsjö has participated in: Bad Quartet (N.Y) Maxcolic (trio/quartet with Mats Gustafsson, Raymond Strid and Christian Munthe) David Moss (with Maxcolic) Eugene Chadbourne, Or Never (with Sten Sandell) The Artfarmer (with Mats Gustafsson & Clay Ketter) Halster (with Adam Persson & Mattias Nihlen) projects with Martin Küchen, Sture Ericson and has played with numerous musicians in the field of free improv music.... Guitar as object. Guitar as subject. Guitar as percussion. Guitar as quotation. Guitar as microphone. Guitar as a tool. Guitar as a fool. Guitar as guitar.

Photo N. Bergendal

Some words introducing Lindsjö and his guitar, it would seem unjust to posit them in one corner or the other, even though his playing without apologies takes cues from past decades of string plucking. Old idioms are picked up, domesticized and wrapped tightly before pulled to a neck twisting uttermost – even venturing into the blues.
Just listen closely: ...koeeeeng...kttanngg...koiiii..tkk....Reichel? Bailey?


...badibadabibee//bu//ba//bú//bubebo... – Al di Meola? ...kbjaa..e(x) – Burkhard Stangl? Possibly, but I'd say the whole lot of them – arguing about the same precise motion of finger against string. So where does this leave us in terms of 'style'? The more I’ve seen Anders perform live, the less I am prone to think in terms of style and genre


What do you remember about your first approach to music?

What first comes in mind is the time when I was fourteen and my parents let me empty my room and turn it in to a rehearsal space, when playing in my first band.

Fred Lonberg-Holm - Cello Anders Lindsjö - Guitar, @ Gallery Ping Pong, Malmö, Sweden October 2012

How's your musical routine practice?

Well. One thing that has been running for quite some time now is the workshop every Monday, eight years or so… This has turned out to carry, at least for me, a consistency in playing, elaborating, and working on my instrument. It's a constant work with the experimenting side of my music. The set formation is three guitars, (goes under the name HALStER) but the workshop is open for everyone that wants to improvise. Everyone from touring musicians passing by, local improvisers and so on.. (At one time even parts of the music conservatory in Minsk showed up…)

Which work of your own are you most surprised by, and why?

Eh.. Don't know if any of my work ever surprised me? But as my memory is pretty short, I guess I have to refer to a recent job. Composer Ola Paulson decided to write a piece of chamber music for me and Jakob Riis, whom I worked with for quite a while. I am an improviser, not an interpreter, so Paulson tells me that the piece contains mostly improvised parts, and I agreed.
This wasn't the case. Later Paulson explained he had tricked me into it, because writing the piece for me and Riis would be the most challenging as he became interested in the process of taming two of the most unpredictable improvisers he knew, and making them follow a fairly strict chart. Kindly enough, he wrote my part as TAB…

Jakob Riis, Anders Lindsjö - No Sky

What's the relevance of technique in music, in your opinion?

I never think about technique as an isolated phenomenon. I never learned how to play the guitar properly, so this might contribute to my attitude. A crappy guitar can produce amazing sound with techniques that doesn't sound like anything on a quality guitar, and vice versa. I mean, it's all about playing, making things work. Making sound that (at least in my ears) sounds great.

Why do you need music? Can we live without music?

I myself need music, because of the rate of satisfaction it gives me
”Can we live without music!? Of course! Most people, I believe, would be able to.
I mean I see music as a way to communicate. There are many ways to communicate. Visual art, writing, poetry, etc. You find your way, and I find mine…

How do you feel listening to your own music?

I guess when it's all done, I have spent so much time in the process of editing, mixing and mastering that it's basically just time to move on! Some of the stuff doesn't even reach production, so I’ll just leave it, and hardly ever listen to it again.

What is your relationship with other art disciplines?

I have been working for the past twenty years in visual arts. Assisting artist, as a coordinator for exhibitions, technician, curator, you name it. Visual art is my counterweight. In projects I’ve combining the two ways, the most ”prominent” would be The Artfarmer together with artist Clay Ketter. An of and on project that last time included Mats Gustafsson, for instance…

Mats Gustafsson Baritone sax, Anders Lindsjö Acoustic guitar, Live at Gallery Ping-Pong

What would you enjoy most in an art work?

For me, the most satisfying is when I work side by side with artists. I mean I know the hard work behind making an exhibition. The scaryness of bringing new work out from the studio and into an exhibition. Even with well established artists showing artworks that has been around for a while, and might even be parts of art history, there’s always this uncertainty what happens to the work in a new space. This situation is quite similar to what happens to music when it is performed on stage. It's all about the room…

What quality do you most empatize with in a musician?

The ability to listen….

What is some valuable advice that someone has given to you in the past?

Raymond Strid has sort of being a mentor for me, since way back. Everything he has told me I have considered being valuable. Doesn't matter if it had to do with food, liquor, tobacco or music. Well. Everyone who knows him know what I'm talking about, to be serious. He has taught me the most about music.

What instruments and tools do you use?

I bought this fairy nice Levin archtop with a nice pickup last year. I’ve had a couple before, but this one was the most expensive so far. So no scratching and scraping on that one. I let the cheaper ones take the hits.
Less and less tools. At least for now. It's a constant journey. Playing with Raymond Strid it sometimes sounds more like a drum duo rather than guitar/drums. Sometimes I can't help myself with the percussive playing, and then I use all the tools I can lay my hands on…

What is the most recent musical experience that has attracted your attention?

I shared the stage a couple of nights ago with Martin Küchen playing a duo with Ola Paulson
on their Martin saxophone contraltos. Same brand alto saxophones. Of course they named their duo The Martins. It sounded quite sacred, quite beautiful. A little bit like a free spirited Gesualdo at times. Very satisfying!

What projects are you working on now and what does the future hold?

I’m working on a handful releases. A group with Sture Ericson and Adam Pultz Melbye with the new name Jitter releasing an LP, new CD with HALStER, workshop guys. Picking up the bass guitar in a more load scenario with a group called Bomb. Touring with Lotte Anker later this year… Future enough?


Selected recordings

1990 Sounds - Contemporary Swedish Improvised Music
 Blue Tower Records ‎BTLP 01/02

2008 Wrrp
Treffpunkt Treff 001

2009 The Artfarmer    
Treff 004

2009 Dry Body, Dry Bones
Clinical Archives ca338

2010 Guitars: An Anthology Of Experimental Solo Guitar Music
Setola Di Maiale ‎– SM1840-1850

2011 The Ping Of The Pong & Christian Munthe
*For*sake Recordings xfxs-7

2011 Jakob Riis ‎– No Denmark
Olof Bright OBCD 31 

2012 HALStER - Nej, Leta I Ateljén... / ...Mats Ekestam
Solförmörkelse SOL 04    

2012 Gustafsson Lindsjö
Treffpunkt Treff 009

2015 Tack! with Jakob Riis
Setola Di Maiale SM2770