Bagland ‘States Of Being’ LP/CD (Jaeger Community Music) 3/5

“States of Being” is the fourth album to be released by Bagland, a group led by Danish trumpeter and composer Jakob Sørensen. Integrating electronic audio sources, synths and effects, with a cool, Nordic ambience, The Copenhagen based band-leader continues to build on the atmospheric nature of his music, within a playful, curious, and expressive platform that encourages creativity.

The musical shape of this album was developed by Bagland whilst on tour in Finland during 2020. Joining Sørensen on this latest recording are Alex Jønsson on pedal steel and guitar, Mathias Jaeger on synthesiser, Frederik Sakham on bass, Frej Lesner on drums, Josefine Opsahl on cello, and Anna Jalving on violin. The delicate nature of the music is subtle, like moments in time that are held, then released, before one has chance to fully take in or memorise the meaning.

Sørensen’s playing reminds me in some ways of Arve Henriksen, or Verneri Pohjola. The breathy, laid-back style creates an atmospheric soundscape for the rest of the band to fall into, familiarise, and release their own accompanying notes that drip slowly yet thoughtfully like raindrops from the leaf of a tree. Sometimes the resulting music is immediately cohesive, whilst at other times it is disparate, fragmented, broken links slowly but surely finding their pathways back to one another.

Immersing myself in the ten pieces of music on “States of Being”, I find myself drifting with the music… to places, thoughts and feelings, dreams and memories. The journey sparks images in my mind… of nature, humanity, love and loss. The lyrical soundscapes help create my own visual accompaniment as I listen, moving pictures dancing eloquently to the feelings and thoughts that respond subconsciously to the essence of the music being performed. Musical poetry in motion one might conclude.

Mike Gates

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Jakob Sørensen’s Bagland ‘Cirkel’ LP/CD (Jaeger Community Music) 4/5