The Squid's Ear Magazine

Gustafsson, Mats: Hidros 9 Mirrors (Trost Records)

Forming his NU Ensemble in 1997 to merge free-jazz, improv, noise and contemporary forms, Mats Gustafsson presented Hidros One for 9 improvisers, tape & conductor that same year, progressing over 25 years to this 9th conduction of the Hidros concept in his largest ensemble yet: 25 musicians in two 9-piece ensembles plus soloists, captured live at the 2022 Avant Art Festival in Warsaw, Poland.

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Anders Nyqvist-trumpets

Colin Stetson-amplified bass saxophone

Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen-guitar

Per-Ake Holmlander-tuba

Jerome Noetinger-revox tape machines


Mats Gustafsson-conductor

Eira Bjornstad Foss-violin

Matilda Rolfsson-bass drum

Lars Ove Fossheim-guitar

Michael F. Duch-bass

Ovind Engen-cello

Kyrre Laastad-drums, electronics

Nicolas Leirtro-bass

Daniel Formo-organ, prepared piano

Ida Lovli Hidle-accordion

Teoniki Rozynek-violin

Dominika Korzeniecka-bass drum

Szymon Wojcik-guitar, electronics

Rafal Rozalski-bass

Magdalena Bojanowicz-cello

Qba Janicki-drums, electronics

Pawel Romanczuk-bass

Barbara Drazkov-organ, prepared piano

Zbigniew Chojnacki-accordion

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

UPC: 9120036683884

Label: Trost Records
Catalog ID: TROST 242CD
Squidco Product Code: 34211

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Austria
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at the Avant Art Festival, in Warsaw, Poland, on October 1st, 2022.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"For saxophonist, composer, conductor Mats Gustafsson, the motto "go big, or go home" has always applied to his music. Whether it is blowing his baritone saxophone in the avant garage band The Thing or battling the Japanese noise artist Merzbow, Gustafsson is constantly expanding concepts of composed and improvised music. Through various ensembles such as Gush, Fire! Orchestra, Swedish azz, Fake The Facts, AALY Trio, Sonore, and his duos with everyone from Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, to Steve Swell, Christian Marclay and Craig Taborn, he never repeats an idea. The same goes for his ongoing Hidros (sweat) experiments started back in the late 1990s, where he utilized graphic scores along with instant composing. He has dedicated his Hidros music to the likes of Patti Smith, Little Richard, and György Ligeti.

Hidros 9 Mirrors was recorded at the Avant Art Festival in Warsaw, Poland in 2022. Gustafsson assembled 25 musicians comprising of two nine-piece chamber ensembles, The Norwegian NyMusikk Trondheim and The Polish Avant Art Ensemble plus the soloists Anders Nyqvist (trumpet), Colin Stetson (amplified bass saxophone), Hedvig Mollestad (electric guitar), Per-Åke Holmlander (tuba), Jerome Noetinger (Revox tape machines), and Dieb13 (aka Dieter Kovačič) (turntables). Unlike his other Hidros projects where he would also double on multiple instruments, Gustafsson is occupied here with the sole task of conduction.

Gustafsson's use of graphic scores instigates varying tempos, moods and energies. "Intro" begins with Stetson's bass heavy amplified saxophone stirred by Noetinger and Dieb13 electronics. Gustafsson contrasts the electric soloists and Holmlander's deep tuba with the acoustic sounds of the chamber ensembles' pluck, knock and strum. His coordination of sound is loose, but he is careful to not devolve into noise. He draws out soloists, be it Stetson, Nyqvist or Mollestad to find a path through the landscapes created by both of the chamber ensembles' interpretations of the graphic scores. The sounds are part free improvisation, part minimalism with an orchestrated electronic soundtrack that threatens constantly to go off the rails. It is just that it never does."-Mark Corroto, All About Jazz

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Artist Biographies

"Some things, they say, are meant to be, and certainly it sometimes looks that way for Colin Stetson, whose recorded output, not to mention studio and live collaborations - with, among others, Lou Reed, LCD Soundsystem, The National, Chemical Brothers, Bon Iver and Bill Laswell - has proven as prolific as it's praiseworthy. There's the story of how, though he began playing alto saxophone aged nine, his formal studies only started at 15, when he quickly learned the tricky art of circular breathing in a single afternoon. There's another about how one day, before his lesson even began, he stunned Donald Sinta, his renowned University of Michigan professor, with a warm-up technique so mind-bending the teacher simply walked out, returning a week later, relieved, to declare, "See, I can do it too!" Then there's the time he ended up working with Tom Waits. "I literally moved to San Francisco," Stetson recalls, with no little amazement, "because I wanted to be closer to where he was in the hopes I might cross paths with him. A year and a half later, he called me out of the blue."

Whatever the old adage, none of this is unearned. Since the early years of the 21st Century, Stetson has gained a well-deserved reputation as an exceptional musician, his devotion to his craft consummate, his commitment to innovation indisputable. Known for assertive, powerhouse performances on the saxophone - chiefly bass and alto, but also soprano, tenor and baritone - for many years he was a wrestler, a sport whose "insane physical extremes" he credits with his style, alongside, among other things, a love for acts like Pixies and Fugazi. He's similarly at home, though, whatever the musical context, on clarinet, flute, French Horn and cornet. One might even say he operates in a field all his own.

This is something to which albums like New History Warfare Vols. 1-3 (2007, 2011, 2013) and 2017's All This I Do for Glory powerfully attest, not to mention his striking - and diverse - contributions to film, TV and game scores. These include most recently 2018's Hereditary and Red Dead Redemption 2, 2021's Among The Stars, and 2022's Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Menu, though his favourites, he confesses, are 2020's Barkskins and 2021's Mayday. "I actively shun notions of category and genre in my life and appetites, and most definitely in my own music," Stetson says. "They're definitionally contrary to creativity and freedom, and corral the listener and musician alike into a kind of predesignated automaticity I prefer to avoid."

Stetson's nature then, is definitely, defiantly single-minded, and his dogged focus is always evident in his work, his swooping, circling and soaring motifs displaying as much sensitivity as strength. Even the very body of his instrument - not to mention his own body - provides a source of vital sounds which defy the imagination, not least on All This I Do For Glory, Among The Stars and Mayday, where his saxophone is often mistaken for electronic instrumentation. Such steadfast resolve extends to his daily routines, too. "I generally listen to the same type of music in the mornings," he reveals. "Historically that's been Bach, mostly Glenn Gould, mostly the Goldberg Variations, mostly the 81' recording. Saturdays tend to be for Irish or Scandinavian folk music, and on Sundays I listen to the Soul Stirrers SAR years recordings, or the Goodbye Babylon compilation of pre-war gospel music. I don't know... I just like rituals."

Stetson's singular approach, crucial on stage, was developed as he codified tailor-made rules over a decade of shows until, by 2007, when he first began recording seriously, he elected to adhere to them in the studio. "If performances were to be fully acoustic," he explains, "in that no FX, loops or additional recordings would be used, then so too must the album be all of that. Just me and the instrument and the moment. An audience member at a live performance sees the performer, feels the sound physically, and has that whole spectacle informing their experience. I sought to capture the recording in such a way as to be able to recreate the stereo field, to make a kind of 'surrealistic' imagining of the space, not through effecting or adding unnatural or foreign elements, but simply by taking what was there in the space and time of that recording process and slightly reimagining where in space it sits."

Oddly, Stetson didn't always imagine he'd be a musician. Born in 1975, he grew up in Ann Arbor, where he began painting aged 2, a talent cultivated by his parents throughout his childhood. "Up until 15 or 16," he admits, "I thought I'd pursue a career in the arts, in film, most likely, doing creature and practical effects in Hollywood on the sci-fi and fantasy films I loved. Music changed that trajectory, obviously." This re-evaluation was also facilitated by his parents, who arranged music lessons when he was in his mid-teens. "My mother was determined to make sure my siblings and I were taking on any opportunity for study we could, and she and my father devoted all of their limited resources to us and our upbringing." They certainly didn't spend as much on records: Stetson grew up mainly with "lots of Hendrix, Beatles, Jethro Tull, and one Queen album, The Game. I was very much raised on classic rock in those early years."

Nonetheless, he's part of the first MTV generation, and his subsequent, ferocious devouring of pop videos - he admits the solo in Men At Work's 'Who Can It Be' first inspired him to pick up a saxophone - led to a lifelong metal infatuation, itself a gateway to ever more innovative styles. "There was always Led Zeppelin and the ubiquitous Jimi Hendrix," he continues, "and I got into Mr Bungle through that metal and rock association, which in turn got me listening to John Zorn, which then prompted me to explore players like Fred Frith, Bill Laswell, Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, and legends like Ornette, Roscoe Mitchell, Dewey Redman, and Albert Ayler. That was all by about 15. Saxophone was always the instrument I had a real affinity for. The shape, the sound, the physicality, the versatility and dynamic possibilities: all of it has kept me searching and learning and striving on it for decades."

Given this hunger, it's unsurprising he won a scholarship to the University of Michigan School of Music, where he developed his idiosyncratic style, experimenting with multi/polyphonics, vocalisations, valve-work and his instrument's percussive sounds. "I was playing a ton of free improv, always blown away by the sheer breadth of sonic possibilities, and so was quite ravenous for learning and absorbing the techniques," he recalls. "I spent a fair amount of time the summer of my 19th year doing some musical deep dives on mescaline, and at that point started to refine my earliest solo sax concepts. A couple of those first patterns eventually made it onto New History Warfare Vol. 1."

It was at university he began playing regularly with Transmission (later Transmission Trio) "searching, reaching, and exploring the instrument," before heading to San Francisco after graduating and, six years later, Brooklyn. Contributions were made to other artists' recordings, not least Tom Waits' ­ - "I learned from him the preciousness of the present moment and our initial, honest reactions," Stetson states, "and that at its core what we are doing is storytelling" - and he made his own lowkey records too. It wasn't, though, until 2007 that his breakthrough album, New History Warfare Vol. 1, was released, and this coincided with his drafting by Arcade Fire, with whom he'd play until 2010. He also moved to Montreal that year to join his future (but now ex-) wife, the band's Sarah Neufeld, with whom he recorded 2015's Never Were The Way She Was, and the following year released Sorrow, an extraordinary reimagining of Gorecki's legendary Symphony of Sorrow later performed in the composer's hometown of Katowice.

In-between he completed his New History Warfare trilogy, a virtuosic illustration of the "world-building", as he calls it, that's critical to much of his solo work. "I started writing a sort of corollary narrative in my head - I think it most resembles a graphic novel - so that the narrative and imagery, themes etc. inform the shape and structure of the individual songs, whole albums, and the larger trilogy arc. I connect all of that work - the solo records and some of my collaborations - in the context of a greater narrative and ethos. It's not necessary that anyone know what these stories are, though. I think of it as something I do to help me create the clearest and most wholly realised world in the music."

2017's All This I Do for Glory consolidated his reputation, earning multiple nominations for critics' Album of the Year lists, but if fans have had to wait for its promised sequel - though he confirms it's on its way - that's largely to do with the mass of scoring work he's attracted over the last decade. "I love the puzzles involved in designing a score," he says, "cracking certain codes for what each story needs and how best to bring it together in a way that's novel, effective and exciting." And all the time he's continued to enlarge upon his enviable reputation for live performances that match his intense technical prowess with exhilarating and emotionally gripping songwriting skills. "I'll always push myself physically in the making of this music," he adds. "There's something about the energetic state of being in the limits of our grasps, manoeuvring through extremities, that I find not only cathartic and hugely satisfying but which imbues the music with a quality that cannot be fully quantified."

Still, if his astounding physical engagement with his instruments has helped provoke headlines and draw audiences, Stetson remains dedicated first and foremost to his art. "I've always wanted to eschew the whole 'geek show' aspect of my performances," he concludes, "and just play in total darkness. To be there, present with the music, with the audience. It's still a kind of dream for me to not have the music be understood and experienced in any way through the lens of the physical feat of it, but just felt in that honest, visceral and immediate way." He needn't worry, though. Some things, after all, are meant to be, and anyone who's heard Stetson's music will verify that there's no other way to experience it than honestly, viscerally and immediately. As distinguished broadcaster Mary Anne Hobbs once observed, "he's an artist that can change the way you actually think about music." "

-Colin Stetson Website (

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"Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen (born 4 February 1982 in Ålesund, Norway) is a Norwegian musician (guitar, vocals and composing). She is known for a series of album releases and collaborations with musicians like Jon Eberson, Jarle Bernhoft and Hilde Marie Kjersem.

Thomassen is a graduate from the Norwegian Academy of Music, and collaborates in a variety of rock and jazz bands, including her own Hedvig Mollestad Trio, Thomassen Trio, Bronco Busters, Songs and Sweet Potatoes, and VOM (as "Mester Pøggs"). She also has a central role in the bands of Jarle Bernhoft and Hilde Marie Kjersem, and has performed within Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. Thomassen was awarded "The young jazz talent of the year" at Moldejazz in 2009, and showed up on a gig within Jarle Bernhoft Band at the 2011 Kongsberg Jazzfestival. When she released her debut solo album Shoot! (2011) leading her own trio, the music bears little resemblance to what she plays within Jon Eberson Group and the bands of Hilde Marie Kjersem and Jarle Bernhoft.

Hedvig Mollestad Trio (also referred to as HM3) consists of Hedvig Mollestad (guitar, vocals), Ellen Brekken (bass) and Ivar Loe Bjørnstad (drums). The trio has received numerous appraising reviews internationally, for both their studio albums and live performances. Their music is inspired by 70s heavyrock, but creates a peculiar musical mixture of ingredients like free jazz, prog and psychedelia. On its website the band describes their own music as "Outgoing & progressive instrumental rock". Since the trio's formation in 2009, HM3 has played many concerts and jazz festivals in both Norway and abroad and they have toured in Europe, Malaysia, Japan and the USA."

-Wikipedia (

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"Born April 1966, in Marseille, Jérôme Noetinger discovered experimental music under the influence of the Déficit Des Années Antérieures in Caen. Composer/improviser/sound artist working with electroacoustic devices. Composing sometimes musique concrete in the studio, and performing improvised music using electroacoustic devices such as: the reel to reel tape recorder Revox A77 and magnetic tape, analogue synthesisers, mixing desks, speakers, microphones, various electronic household objects and home-made electronica. Performing both solo and in ensembles, and collaborating often, and touring extensively internationally. Director of Metamkine, non-profit organisation dedicated to the distribution of improvised and electroacoustic music, which operates with an on-line mail order catalogue. Member of editorial committee of quarterly journal of contemporary sound, poetry and performance, Revue & Corrigée since 1987 Studied electronic music under the direction of Xavier Garcia from 1986 -1988 at COREAM in Fontaine. Organises studio workshops and conferences around such subjects as: musique concrete, improvisation, audiovisual experiments, questions of distribution and production. Active in the international music network since 1984 working with music, dance, films and painting Member of 102 rue d'Alembert, programming coordinator of exhibitions, concerts and experimental cinema from 1989 -1998 [bio continues...]"

-Echoraum (

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"Dieb13 is the performing name of Dieter Kovačič, a Viennese-based avant-garde musician. He has also performed under the names Takeshi Fumimoto, Echelon, Dieter Bohlen, and dieb14. After appearing on several compilations documenting the burgeoning Viennese avant-garde scene of the late 1990s, he released his first solo album in 2000. He has gone on to perform in a number of collaborations with other notable performers, including Burkhard Stangl, erikm, Mats Gustafsson and the John Butcher Group."

-Wikipedia (

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"Born 1964 in Umeå, Northern Sweden.Saxplayer, improviser and composer. Solo artist and international tours and projects with a.o. Sonic Youth, Merzbow, Jim O´Rourke, Barry Guy, Otomo Yoshihide, Yoshimi, Ken Vandermark and in working groups The Thing, FIRE!, Gush, Boots Brown, Swedish Azz and Fake (the facts). Large ensemble work with Barry Guy New Orchestra,FIRE! Orchestra and the NU - ensemble.over 1800 concerts and over 200 record productions in Europe, Australia, Africa, North & South America and Asia.Collaborations with contemporary dance, theater, art, poetry as well as projects with noise, electronica, contemporary rock and free jazz.Discaholic - running the discaholic corner website.Producer of international festivals and concert tours as well as work with own record labels Slottet, OlofBright Editions and Blue Tower Records."-Mats Gustafsson Website (

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"My name is Matilda Rolfsson, I am a percussionist and improviser, who with my artistic research-project "In Motion, Movements with Directions (- from within)" explore the interplay between music and dance in free-improvisation.

With a wider definition of the listening, inspired my dance-colleagues, not only hearing, but also seeing, and sensing everything in the room, I'm intrigued by the idea of an interdisciplinary interplay between music and dance, where none of the artforms lose direction, and energy in the improvisation.

Highlighting the importance of seeing dance and music as equals, but still different, not compromised in hierarchies or language- barriers, I'm interested in reflecting on how a wholeness in an expression can arise from different and individual voices, also what imprint dance has had to my playing after years of interdisciplinary entanglements in free-improvisation.

Reflecting my sounds with the movements of the dancers gives me an expanded freedom to play and improvise freely in different, and even unexpected directions. Not only as a kinetic approach, when playing on my instrument, but also as an imaginative source that arises from the visual aspect of the dance.

To play like a dancer, as if the music was dance*, continues to be an artistic driving- force for me, advocating that there is very much taced knowledge that that needs to be putted into daylight, not least in the higher music education-system and scenes for experimental music, where I wish the two artforms would appear more integrated.

The more I engage with the subject of my artistic research-project, the more I'm fascinated of the rich and complex interplay that music and dance implies in free-improvisation. However, finding my artistic peers and their antidotes hasmade it graspable.

At the moment I am delightfully inside artistic processes with dancers: Anna Westberg (SE), Marcela Giesche (US/DE)and Bára Sigfussdottir (IS/NO)."

I hold a Bachelor and a Master in performing music, Jazz and improvisation (Department of Music, NTNU, 2009- 2015) with integrated exchange- studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London.

*Inspired by pianist Cecil Taylors quote: "I try to imitate on the piano the leaps in space a dancer makes" . A.B Spellman, Four Lives in The Bebop Business, 1967/ 42.

-Norwegian Universtiy of Science and Technology (

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Nicolas Leirtr¿ is a Norwegian bassist, known for the bands I Like To Sleep, and Midtnorsk Ungdomsstorband.

-Squidco 4/22/2024

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"Daniel Formo (b 1978): Musician and composer from Trondheim, Norway.

Formo has established himself as a stylistically innovative hammond organ player, improviser and sound artist, and works as a musician, composer and researcher within a broad range of music from improvised and written contemporary music, to jazz and popular genres, as well as electroacoustic music and electronic art.

Educated at the Music Conservatory at NTNU in Trondheim and Royal College of Music in Stockholm, with a Bachelor and Master studying Piano and Hammond organ at the Jazz Department and additional studies in composition, counterpoint, music technology and musicology, as well as a doctoral degree at NTNU through the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme with the project "Orchestra of Speech"."

-Daniel Formo Website (

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"Ida Løvli Hidle is an accomplished Norwegian accordion soloist and chamber musician. Her debut concert in the Concert Hall of The Royal Danish Academy of Music in February 2016 received great reviews. Here she premiered the new accordion concerto "Clashes" by the Norwegian composer Erlend Skomsvoll together with The Danish Youth Ensemble. She also performed "Fachwerk" by Sofia Gubaidulina - a composer that has expressed great enthusiasm for Ida's interpretation of her works. This resulted in collaboration on the new edition of her work for solo accordion, "Et Expecto".

Ida Løvli Hidle is a premiered accordionist. In 2012 she won 1st prize in the international competition for accordion soloists in Gent, Belgium, and in 2015 she won 3rd prize in the "International Competition of Bajan and Accordion Players" in Moscow. She also won the 1st prize in the chamber music category in the "International Accordion Prize" competition in Castelfidardo, Italy 2010, and several 1st prizes in national competitions like Ungdommens Musikkmesterskap" (The Youth Music Competition) and the Norwegian National Accordion Competition.

She has given concerts all over the world, from China to Canada, France, Russia and Germany, and at several festivals such as Arctic Arts Festival, St. Olav Festival and Kongsberg Jazz Festival. In 2016 she received Arts Council Norway's Government Grants for Young Artists, and has worked as Kapellmeister at the Opera in Malmö on their production of Lucrezia Borgia (2016) and Carmen (2018). Ida is passionate about conveying contemporary music to a larger audiences and she often includes acting and text reading as a part of her performances.

Ida Løvli Hidle's almost unlimited repertoire spans over contemporary music to folk music through tango, jazz and her own arrangements of classical repertoire. She has also composed music for children's theatre. Ida has been working with orchestras such as Enemble Allegria, Aarhus Sinfonietta, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, The Arctic Philharmonic Sinfonietta, The Danish Youth Ensemble, and she is a current member of the jazz orchestra "Skadedyr". She has specialised in the accompaniment of singers and performed with many great artists, such as Anne-Lise Berntsen, Aleksander Nohr and Lise Davidsen. Ida is also passionate about inspiring younger generations of accordionists, and is one of the founding leaders of NordAccordion - a summer course for young accordionists and accordion festival at Voss, Norway.

Ida Løvli Hidle graduated with a Soloist Degree (Advanced Postgraduate Diploma) from The Royal Danish Academy with Professor Geir Draugsvoll in 2016. She has also studied at The Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, with Professor Xiaoqing Cao, The Norwegian Academy of Music with Frode Haltli, and The Conservatory of Music in Trondheim with Øivind Farmen."

-Ida Lovli Hidle Website (

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"Qba Janicki [Bydgoszcz/Kraków] - Born on 6th February 1989 in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He started to play drums at age of 4, at age of 15 he started to use electronics. From his early years he have played with lots of different musicians during rehearsal brakes of bands which were practicing in MÓZG club in Bydgoszcz. Then at age of 11 He started to study timpani and percussion at PZSM im. Artura Rubinsteina in Bydgoszcz, at class of Miroslaw Zyta. After 13 years of practicing, mostly alone, and searching for his own techniques and sounds he started to play in public. In 2008 He became a student of Cracow Music Academy at Stanislaw Welanyk's timpani and percussion class, then in 2009 He started to study drums and percussion on jazz and modern music department at the same academy. His main theory in playing music is to play what makes you happy, no matter what genre it is. His main roots are in traditional percussion, classical and improvised music, but he is also performing rock, electronic.

-Mixcloud (

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"Pawel Romanczuk - musician, composer. Since 2006, he works within the field of unusual sounds sources. Romańczuk is a founder of the Polish artistic group Małe Instrumenty with whom he recorded 10 albums. He composed several film soundtracks and collaborated with significant theatre houses. He's also famous for the various instruments, sound and audio installations he builds on his own.

In 2010, he published the first study on the history of the instrument toy piano.

In 2013, he wrote the book "Domowe eksperymenty z instrumentami muzycznymi" that was published together with his band's album "Samorobka". The publication became a guide to the process of creating hand-made and experimental musical instruments. He collaborated with Pierre Bastien, Margaret Leng Tan, Piotr Kurek, Nao Nishihara, Księżyc and Za Siódmą Górą, Cezary Duchnowski, Andrzej Bauer.He conducts workshops, lectures and develops exhibitions on the role of instruments and sound experiments. His music collaboration with Andrzej Załęski and Ghedalia Tazartes started back in 2014; however, he was familiar with their music for quite a time."

-Monotype Records (

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Zbigniew Chojnacki: Polish Accordion player, improviser. The music and sounds sees the ease and conventionally, the most important is dialogue and encounter with another man. Any form emit a sound, it is facilitated to make contact with people, is inspired by the elements most often not directly related to music, as he says "old washing machine, a blade of grass, the sound of the engine can be inspiring."

-FSR (

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Track Listing:

1. Intro 06:13

2. Mirrors 1 18:41

3. Shadows 1 10:16

4. Echoes 1 02:56

5. Reflection 07:44

6. Echoes 2 03:33

7. Shadows 2 10:27

8. Mirrors 2 13:20

9. Outro 03:46

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Large Ensembles
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Mats Gustafsson
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New in Improvised Music
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Maternity Beat [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Rune Grammofon)
Working again with the 12-piece, expressive Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Norwegian guitarist and composer Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen recorded this double LP in the studio in Halden in 2021, for 9 long form epics that bridge and merge rock and jazz genres, in both instrumental work and songs that explore the nature of family and issues of social justice.
O'Rourke, Jim / Mats Gustafsson
Xylophonen Virtuosen [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Trost Records)
Dedicated to Derek Bailey, these long out of print, subtle and delicate duo recordings captured in Chicago between Mats Gustafsson on tenor sax, fluteophone, flute & "junk" and Jim O'Rourke on guitar, accordeon and also on "junk", were originally released in 1999 on the Incus label, here remastered, in some cases remixed, and adding previously unreleased material.
O'Rourke, Jim / Mats Gustafsson
Xylophonen Virtuosen
(Trost Records)
Dedicated to Derek Bailey, these long out of print, subtle and delicate duo recordings captured in Chicago between Mats Gustafsson on tenor sax, fluteophone, flute & "junk" and Jim O'Rourke on guitar, accordeon and also on "junk", were originally released in 1999 on the Incus label, here remastered, in some cases remixed, and adding previously unreleased material.
Fire! w/ Stephen O'Malley / David Sandstrom
(Rune Grammofon)
A one-side EP with a screen print on the B-Side, of a raucous, dark and incredibly epic journey in heavy electric jazz from Fire! configured as the quintet of Mats Gustafsson on bass saxophone, organ & live electronics, Johan Berthling on electric bass, Andreas Werliin on drums, Stephen O'Malley on guitar and David Sandstrom on drums; awe inspiring!
Ensemble Var (Gustafsson / Lindal / Lindstrom / Nordwall)
A fully free improvisation of subtly disruptive, extended electroacoustic mastery, recorded during the Svensk Musikvår Festival at Aliasteatern, Stockholm in 2021, in a piece conceived by Mats Gustafsson who performs on saxophone & flute, with Anna Lindal on violin, Mats Lindstrom on electronics, effects & sampler and Joachim Nordwall on analog synths, effects & tapes.
Pospieszalski, Marek
Polish Composers Of The 20th Century [2 CDs]
(Clean Feed)
Featuring some of Poland's most interesting improvisers and contemporary players and led by wind & reedist Marek Pospieszalski, this 8-piece ensemble use the compositions of Krauze, Kotonski, Baird, Rudzinksi, Stachowski, Sikorsi, &c. as the inspiration and influence for sophisticated arrangements & improvisations merging concepts of jazz, contemporary composition & sound art.
Mollestad, Hedvig
Tempest Revisited [VINYL]
(Rune Grammofon)
For her 2nd solo record aside from her rock trio, guitarist Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen expands her orchestration to an octet, adding jazz-rock elements while balancing scorching playing with lyrical and open passages, as she pays tribute to Arne Nordheim's 1979 composition for Shakespeare's "The Tempest", and for her own experiences of furious weather in her home town of Ålesund.
Gadt, Anna / Zbigniew Chojnacki / Krzysztof Gradziuk
Renaissance Gesualdo [2 CDs]
(Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))
An epic journey in free vocal improvised music from the trio of vocalist Anna Gadt with Zbigniew Chojnacki on accordion & live electronics and Krzysztof Gradziuk on drums, performing live in the studio in Nieport, Poland, with arrangements, deconstructions and original music by Anna Gadt, along with the theme from "Monumentum pro Gesualdo" by Igor Stravinski.
Brotzmann, Peter Chicago Tentet
Ultraman vs. Alien Metron [SINGLE SIDED VINYL]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Recorded during the 2002 studio sessions that yielded the albums A Short Visit to Nowhere and Broken English, this unreleased recording of a Mars Williams composition is issued as a 1-sided LP with the stellar lineup of Brötzmann with Williams, Ken Vandermark, Jeb Bishop, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Kent Kessler, Michael Zerang, Hamid Drake, Mats Gustafsson and Joe McPhee.
Gustafsson, Mats / Joachim Nordwall
Shadows of Tomorrow b/w The Brain Produces Electrical Waves [7'' VINYL w/ DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)
After their duo album A Map of Guilt and many albums together under various Fire! groupings, Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and electronic artist Joachim Nordwall face off again for a limited 7" single: two simmering dialogs, remarkable counterpunches of rumbling synthetics, instrumental noise, pulsating bass tones, heavy breath and terrifying innuendo!
Mollestad, Hedvig Trio
Ding Dong. You're Dead [VINYL]
(Rune Grammofon)
A scorching album of instrumental rock bridging avant, prog and jazz/rock forms, from the inspired and burning Norwegian band led by guitarist Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen and her trio with bassist Ellen Brekken and drummer Ivar Loe Bjornstad; reference John McLaughlin, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, or just focus on the powerhouse that is the Hedvig Mollestad Trio.
Defeat [VINYL]
(Rune Grammofon)
An optimistic definition of "Defeat" through the exultantly dark and expressive work of Fire!, here as the quintet of Mats Gustafsson on flute, baritone sax & live electronics, Johan Berthling on electric bass, Andreas Werliin on drums, Goran Kajfes on quartertone trumpet and Mats Aleklint on trombone & sousaphone, in five works of richly creative and modern improv.
Underflow, The (Gustafsson / Grubbs / Mazurek)
Instant Opaque Evening [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Blue Chopsticks)
The followup to their 2019 Corbett vs. Dempsey album and formalizing their trio name as "The Underflow", is an epic double LP of diverse and inspired free-ea from the trio of Mats Gustafsson on flute, fluteophone, baritone saxophone & live electronics, David Grubbs on electric guiar & voice, and Rob Mazurek on piccolo trumpet, wooden flute, electronics, percussion & voice.
Fire! Orchestra / Krzysztof Penderecki
Actions [VINYL]
(Rune Grammofon)
"Actions For Free Jazz Orchestra" was originally written by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki for the New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra, assembled by Don Cherry for the occasion and conducted by composer himself; this new extended reading and conduction of the score from 2018 was originated and directed by Mats Gustafsson, a powerful update and expansion of the original work.
Stangl, Burkhard / Dieb13
Jardin Des Bruits
(Mikroton Recordings)
Returning to their duo work together 17 years after their erstwhile records eh, guitarist Burkhard Stangl and turntablist Dieb13 explore and expand the sonic properties of their work in this new "Garden Of Noises", using electronics and recordings of soundscapes from Paris and Montreuil, recorded live at Instants Chavires in France, 2019.
Grubbs, David / Mats Gustafsson / Rob Mazurek
The Underflow
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Recorded during two nights at Underflow Records and Art Gallery in Athens, Greece in 2019, The Underflow trio of Mats Gustafsson (reeds, fluteophone, electronics) from Sweden, with Chicago-based Rob Mazurek (trumpet, electronics), and David Grubbs (electric guitar) present an album of wide-ranging, powerful, often explosively eccentric, and always informed improvisation.
Gustafsson, Mats / Wendy Gondeln / Wolfgang Voigt / Martin Siewert
The Shithole Country & Boogie Band
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)
A unique album blurring acoustic recordings from saxophonist Mats Gustafsson with the electronic machinations and rhythms of Wendy Gondeln, aka Albert Oehlen, a German experimental electronic artist, the two inviting Martin Siewert for additional guitar on two tracks, and Wolfgang Voight to remix two tracks; funky, unpredictable, amusing, and seductively tantalizing.
McPhee, Joe / Mats Gustafsson
Brace For Impact
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Drawing on many collaborations, from Peter Brotzmann's large groups to Gustafsson's The Thing, this duo album recorded in 2008 is finally issued to unleash 1 blistering album of saxophone duos, Joe McPhee on altos sax, alto clarinet, pocket trumpet and voice, with Gustafsson on baritone and slide saxophone, alto fluteophone and live electronics; brace yourself!
Noetinger, Jerome & SEC_
La Cave Des Etendards
(Mikroton Recordings)
Titled from the two venues where these concerts were recorded, the duo of Jerome Noetinger and Mimmo Napolitano both use revox reel to reel recorders, plus feedback systems, laptop and other electroacoustic devices to create strange and gripping aural narratives built of abstract elements yet creating deceptively concrete, compelling stories; exceptional.

The Squid's Ear Magazine

The Squid's Ear Magazine

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