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Always week 29 // 15-20 July 2024
Tickets Program
Tickets Program

Bill Frisell & Arild Andersen

Artist in Residence

Teatret Vårt (PLASSEN) 495,- fees incl.

A Concert for Dreamers

The last time Arild Andersen and Bill Frisell played as a duo was during a brief session in Alexandraparken in 2022 at the launch of the book about the A Molde Concert. This year, the duo finally reunites for a full-scale dream concert.

As known, the seed was planted for a wildly fruitful collaboration and a long friendship in 1981, in what was called the "Dream Concert."

"I received a request from Arve Hansen, the festival director at the time, who asked if I could put together a band with my dream musicians," Andersen recalls. Initially, Andersen spoke with Pat Metheny, who was positive about it. But then Metheny called and said he had to withdraw because he had gotten so many gigs. Andersen had to find another guitarist.

"Then I heard a record with Bill Frisell – maybe just half a minute or so – a few sounds. He was relatively unknown. I called him, and Bill came to my place in Fjellhammer, where we rehearsed before we went up to Molde. From there, it went smoothly. They went on a duo tour up in Northern Norway. At the same time, Frisell was working on his first album at ECM at Talent Studio in Oslo and invited Andersen to join in."

"I think I played on about half of the album. The following year, I had a month-long tour in Europe, but Bill was busy, so I got John Abercrombie to join instead. But we have kept in touch over the years. It's obvious that these two like each other. But what is it about Bill Frisell that Andersen is drawn to?"

"Bill has a special tone, and especially that he achieves incredible sustain without high volume. I remember he asked for a Lab-7 amplifier with a compressor. Back then, that was probably something he needed for that sustain sound. I don't know if there's any instrument that has more musicians than the guitar, and being able to find a pocket within that... Words seem inadequate when both old colleagues and young aspirants try to describe Frisell's unique artistry. In addition to the human qualities many emphasize, Andersen gives some specific characteristics to note."

"He doesn't often play straight rhythmically, with a groove. But when he does, he does it fantastically. He's so incredibly on the beat. It flows a lot. You don't think about him being so rhythmic, but he is."

Regarding the upcoming concert at Moldejazz, Andersen comments on the relationship between the double bass and the guitar.

"There are ten strings that need to come together, but when it sounds good, it sounds very good. And then there's what Bill has in terms of loops and pedals and electronics, so I'll probably bring some electronics too – a slightly expanded sonic palette."

The repertoire for the concert has not yet been set. For Andersen, it's important that it plays itself, so they can have a good time and improvise.

By all indications, the concert will be an exceptional meeting of friendly giants.

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