Christian Winther & Christian Meaas Svendsen
The recording “M/W” is a collaboration project between double bassist Christian Meaas Svendsen and acoustic guitarist Christian Winther. In the time before this recording took place, the two musicians had frequently worked together performing live solo and duo concerts, and decided that they wanted to make a joint album which presented some of this work.
Although they both wanted to explore the unique acoustic qualities of their respective instruments, they had quite a different approach altogether. Svendsen wanted to expand on the traditional approaches of his instrument i.e. bass, body and bow(s), and to work with concrete ideas, sketches and transformations, whereas Winther deployed a numerous of external applications to draw unconventional sounds out of his guitar, and used these in a spontaneous way to form his improvisations. During the process they also recorded some duo takes for varying and complimenting their solo material. In both cases the takes were recorded without overdubs, and with the exception of some necessary editing, no manipulation or adding of sound were done in the mixing process. What you hear is basically what was going on.
In addition to their different approach to recording the material, the overall compositions of their respective discs are quite different. Because many of Svendsenʼs pieces consist of single ideas progressing over a longer period of time, he wanted to create variation and compliment the internal qualities of each piece by evenly spreading his material around on his part of the duplex . Winther, on the other hand, has unified his sometimes anarchistic improvisations by blocking takes equal in sound next to each other - indifferent to whether he is playing alone or together with his peer. As a result of their diametrical opposite arranging of both the external and internal qualities of their music, the recordings make for an overall interesting and balanced documentation.
In sum “M/W” is the sound of two young musician finding the new in the old, and at the same time ploughing their way through unexplored terrain. The recording is setting the stage for further exploration of their instruments and their individual take on improvised music.
If you turn an M on its head, it becomes a W, and if you turn a W on its head, well then you get an M - or something close to that! The former is not more important than the latter, they are just two different representations of the same reality - a reality which in music is absolute, only confined by the imaginative limits of its performer and listener.