Most Intimate //

Album label: 
Release date: 
12/12/2016
Recording location: 
Propeller Studio, Oslo
Recording date: 
Sunday, May 15, 2016
Artwork design: 
Christian Meaas Svendsen
Mastering engineer: 
Christian Obermayer
Mixing engineer: 
Christian Obermayer
Recording engineer: 
Hans Andreas Horntveth Jahnsen
  • 1. Intimate (03:39)
  • 2. Dedication I (03:09)
  • 3. Gratitude I (03:30)
  • 4. Unification I (02:37)
  • 5. Dedication II (04:05)
  • 6. Gratitude II (01:30)
  • 7. Unification II (01:51)
  • 8. Total Unification (02:20)
  • 9. Dedication III (03:01)
  • 10. Gratitude III (03:08)
  • 11. Unification III (02:21)
  • 12. Dedication IV (02:09)
  • 13. Gratitude IV (02:04)
  • 14. Unification IV (02:50)
  • 15. Most Intimate (04:30)

Adrian Løseth Waade - violin
Ayumi Tanaka - piano
Andreas Wildhagen - drums
Christian Meaas Svendsen - bass

The following is the liner notes, embossed into the actual cover. This is from the LP-version

FRONT
On the back of this cover you can find the story of Fayan and Dizang. Their little conversation sums up the beauty of improvised music, and was the main inspiration for making this album. What is the core of improvised music? I don’t know. After having released two rather conceptual albums with Nakama I thought it would be nice to do some not knowing for a change. What is sound, and what is music? Luckily, I don’t know that either. Music has a very transient nature, and that quality is its real beauty. My experience is that humans also inhabit that quality, an aspect of ourselves which is perfectly fine with just being. What or who is that aspect? Fire can’t burn fire, water can’t get wet, so how can we really understand ourselves? I often ask myself who am I? No matter how long or deep I look, the answer remains I don’t know. Not knowing is most intimate.

Even though the music on this album isn’t conceptual, the structure of it is. I wanted to make a collaborative album, so we decided to write small Dedications to each other. I wrote for Andreas, Andreas for Adrian, Adrian for Ayumi and Ayumi for me. The only rule was that the person who received the dedication was to be omitted from the composition. Each of the dedications are followed by a solo improvisation, or as we have called it here — Gratitude — from the receiver. The solo is then followed by a synthesis of the two former, a short improvised something with all four, but with the dedicator and the receiver swapping instruments. We have called these pieces Unifications. I also made a little theme with a corresponding variation to serve as a wrapping around it all. In addition we made a fifth Unification which is a free interpretation of the aforementioned theme, and in which all of us swap instruments so that we play the one instrument we did not get to play in the other four Unifications. All in all the recording consists of 15 tracks which present the band in literally all possible solo-, duo-, trio- and quartet combinations. The duos are presented on the opening track which is the variation on the theme, the trios on the Dedications, the quartets on the Unifications, and the solos on the Gratitudes. With the exception of the title theme, none of us had heard any of the other compositions beforehand. We didn’t go into the recording studio without a plan, but we certainly didn’t know what to expect from each other! We had been touring for 9 days, and I wanted the tour to culminate in a recording session which took advantage of the fatigue we were suffering from. Great things happen when the discerning, analytic and intellectual mind is bypassed. Our habitual mind can’t understand Dizang’s final comment to Fayan. Nor can it answer who am I? or what is music? But music itself can perhaps answer those questions. In addition to the written pieces, I also asked Ayumi, Andreas and Adrian to write a small text about what the phrase most intimate might mean to them. Their thoughts function as a commentary to Fayan and Dizang’s conversation. Ayumi chose to write her text in Japanese, as it is the language closest to her heart, and that inspired me to add the original Japanese version of the story. Hopefully listening to this record will help to reveal what Dizang truly meant with his final reply, regardless of what language it is written in.
— Christian

BACKSIDE
Fayan was going on pilgrimage.
Dizang said: Where are you going?
Fayan said: Around on pilgrimage.
Dizang said: What is the purpose of pilgrimage? Fayan said: I don’t know.
Dizang said: Not knowing is most intimate.
「上座、いずくへか行く」
「あてどなく行脚し去る」

「何のための行脚か」

「知らず」

「不知、もっとも親切」

A parent’s voice is some-thing unique. My father died before I was four years old. After digitalizing old family footage from cassettes, I recently heard his voice for the first time as an adult. I thought I wouldn’t recognize his voice, as I couldn’t remember it in my mind, but was surprised that I did so immediately. Many good, un-categorizable feelings arose, and I realized the intimacy of past childhood memories and the voice of a parent.
— Andreas

Sometimes I look at the trees outside, and the light and the clouds and the color of the sky gives them this intensely alive, but silent beauty. What is beauty? What purpose does it have? What is it inside myself that recognizes this mystical quality in a seemingly very physical world? This feeling of recognizing something beautiful, either in nature, in a piece of music, or in an act of kindness, is for me most intimate.
— Adrian

雨音
来ては去りゆく
遠い記憶を
纏いながら
— Ayumi