Thomas Strønen / drums, percussion
Gábor Simon Konzertagentur represents Thomas Strønen worldwide.
- Time is A blind Guide
Available on request.
TiAbG - Time is A blind Guide: "Lucus"
Lineup: Ayumi Tanaka (p), Lucy Railton (vc), Håkon Aase (vl), Ole Morten Vågan (db), Thomas Strønen (dr/ comp)
- sometimes/option also with: Siv Øyunn Kjenstad (perc, voc) and/or Steinar Mossige (perc)
In spring 2017, Thomas Strønen and his ensemble Time is A blind Guide recorded their new album "Lucus" at the marvellous Auditorio of radio RSI in Lugano with ECM master Manfred Eicher. The result? - A true master work! Very special "Lucus" will be released by ECM in early 2018.
“Time Is A Blind Guide is, quite simply, a stunning record that stands out in Strønen's already impressive discography as one of his most expansive, cinematic and flat-out lyrical albums to date. An album so compelling that it truly deserves the term masterpiece, in a time when the word "classic" is bantered about far too often, it also creates hope that there will be more Time Is A Blind Guide compositions to come from Strønen's pen...and from this nimble group, clearly responsive and connected to his music at the deepest, mitochondrial level.” 5/5 stars
(John Kelman / all about jazz / 27 March 2016)
Thomas Strønen’s new ensemble TiAbG - “Time is A blind Guide” (named after the opening sentence of Canadian author Anne Michaels’ novel “Fugitive Pieces”) is incomparable chamber music with elements from jazz, contemporary and folk music, also due to the musicians’ different musical heritage. It superbly combines a string trio, a piano trio and a drum trio within a framework of a larger ensemble of 5 - 7 musicians.
“This group represents the three things I really love: working with drum ensembles; working with piano trios; and working with strings. This group is the perfect combination."
Here - with this new, unique project of his - internationally applauded, boundary-pushing percussionist Thomas Strønen (also notably known from more then sixty-five recordings with e.g. Food, Meadow, Humcrush, and with people like Sidsel Endresen, Nils Petter Molvær and Christian Fennesz) also reveals and establishes himself as a wonderful composer.
His compositions are warm, colourful and melodic, and the notion of ‘Time’ is a key theme, with challenging underlying rhythm patterns and extensive use of space.
"A lot of the music sounds easy, melodic and nice, but it's complex with different time signatures and polyrhythms. I’ve tried out grooves and drums, brought out all the harmonics on the piano and checked how the music sounds on the cello and the violin. I think it has worked out fantastically.” And despite the general conceived goal of a collective sound for the TiAbG suite, Thomas Strønen has thoughtfully and organically reserved various moments for his great creative musicians to shine individually.
TiAbG was premiered (and broadcast by NRK Radio) in Oslo in April 2013 in the concert series “Conexions” curated by Fiona Talkington, presenter of ‘Late Junction’ on BBC Radio 3. The idea was to present new collaborations between Norwegian and British musicians, and Thomas Strønen was commissioned to compose an entire concert for an ensemble he would then put together. In 2014 TiAbG was performed at Cheltenham Jazz, broadcast by BBC - to be voted ‘concert of the year’ by listeners of BBC Radio! In autumn 2015 the CD “Time is A blind Guide” was released on ECM Records.
In a nutshell: even in more free contexts marked by in-the-moment-improvisations (such as in Food with British saxophonist Iain Ballamy, last heard on record with superb “This is not a miracle”, released by ECM in November 2015), Thomas Strønen has always demonstrated a very particular sense of focus and construction. “To hear him work in a more structured environment only supports the sense that he is truly capable of anything.” (John Kelman / all about jazz)
The leader’s fondness for melody together with complex rhythms – “it’s melodic music with a twist” – make this a beguiling album with many hidden depths to explore over the coming months and years.
(thejazzbreakfast.com / Peter Bacon, Dec 2015)
With “Time is A blind Guide” Strønen can finally have his big break-through as a composer and bandleader. […] he appears visionary with distinctive and totally original ideas.
Strønen has written exceptionally beautiful and melodious music, and the way he has accomplished it is almost magical.
(Tor de jazz / Tor Hammerø, Nov 2015)
With "Time Is A Blind Guide” Thomas Strønen has made one of his most exciting albums. The result is one feast of an album.
(Dagsavisen / Roald Helgheim, Nov 2015)
[…] an unusual brew of jazz piano, northern-European laments, gamelan and African-influenced grooves from three percussionists. Downes’s fluent avant-swing, alongside Strønen and bassist Ole Morten Vågan, creates the impression of a jazz piano trio finding itself in a room with an ethereal strings-and-drums chamber group, and though some of it is slow and impressionistic, it’s often jazzy and songlike, too. There are warmly acoustic, all-percussion interludes, tone-bending violin passages, and, on the title track, a rocking folk melody and Jarrettish improv against muscular, tone-rich drumming. If crossover means anything, this is a fascinating example.
(The Guardian / John Fordham, Nov 2015)
Melodically, it’s wholesome, almost folky in atmosphere, but there is also a dense rhythmic complexity that provides a balancing darkness.
(The Irish Times / Cormac Larkin, Nov 2015)
Layers of complex rhythms are formed, with a fine melodic network of downright hypnotic effect and with the ensemble’s fantasy of sounds as suggestive as an impressionistic watercolour, living on the participants’ inspired communication and sensitive understanding of reduction.
(Jazz thing / Uli Lemke, Nov 2015)
This is the strongest piece of work I have heard from Thomas Strønen both as a composer and as a bandleader. Food or Time is A blind Guide? I say, yes please, both!
(Dag og Tid / Lars Mossefinn, Nov 2015)