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INTERVIEW With Artist: Odd-Arne Jacobsen

Odd-Arne Jacobsen

Odd-Arne Jacobsen was born on 29 December 1947. He stands today as a unique personal “voice” in European improvisation music, with his own distinctive tone language. Odd-Arne has worked with most of the leading artists in Norway in theatre and music and has also presented his art internationally. He has had his own television programme in Russia, as well as a solo concert at the Moscow International Jazz Festival and has toured the USA, Mexico, Russia, France, China, Kuwait, Scotland, and Japan. In 1990 he undertook a solo concert of his own compositions in Carnegie Hall, New York.



When your new EP’s are release?

The release date for “ Everything Or Nothing ” and “ Lullaby of Byrdland was October 18, 2018


What guitars did you use on it?

I used an 11 string alto guitar built in Stockholm, Sweden by Georg Bolin – one of the greatest guitar builders of our time.



Your compositions are from a variety of genres and styles so do you aim to write a piece in a certain style or do you let each piece grow organically?  

My music interests do not depend on epochs or instrumentations. It ranges from, for example, the motet of “ Salve Regina“ by Palestrina (1525 – 1594) through John Dowland’s lute music, Puccini, Gustav Mahler, David Bowie, Django Reinhardt, Charlie Parker, Guru and Tupac Shakur , Rap Music, Miles Davis, Minnie Ripperton , Queen Latifa ,Lars Gullin, Jan Johansson, Willie Nelson , Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell etc — etc. I drink of all sources and feel like traveling on a timeless sea musically. I compose in a timeless mode.


You’ve collaborated with many artists – what draws you to certain projects or artists? 

The artists I’m working with are people I meet in different phases of my life – be it a string quartet – Japanese Chinese musicians, pop musicians. avant-garde practitioners – etc —-. It’s best to meet on the human level – be sure of partners and show respect for others – usually find their place – then everything is right for creating music together.


How does your playing alter depending on who you’re collaborating with?

In many cases such as playing with a singer it is important to follow in and out breathe – read the movements of the lips – with other practitioners, it is a lot of feeling phrases – with piano-I play in another register same with guitarists – with good bassists I try to not use the bass strings on the guitar as many bassists often play high in the guitar registry. Therefore, I have spent a lot of time studying instrumentation lessons about the extent and characteristics of other instruments.



One of the more unusual instruments that you use is your 12 strings guitar. Could you tell us about it?

The reason for using 11 string’s alto guitar is in the instrument’s poetic tone and all the possibilities offered by the guitar – on this EP Altogether, the altogether fits these compositions, all of which have a lot of poetry and melancholy – great sound and opportunity for listeners to be with in the open room like the alto guitar. It is a kind of modern variant of a renaissance. . Georg Bolin (RIP) from Sweden was a visionary man – with great interest in guitars from all ages – his alto guitars offer big challenges but also possibilities sound and harmonious that not a regular 6-string guitar can offer. A very poetic instrument.


Where did you get the idea for the two 11 strings alto guitars on your album?

The idea of doing something as unusual as an album with two alto guitars lies in the fact that both Tore- Morten Andreassen Figenschow and I have worked so much differently that it was both very natural for us to take the mental / musical challenges in making music with two unusual guitars. The challenge we solved that Tore Morten largely played in the top registry solo while I put chords and somehow illustrated an accompanying string quartet devote my alto guitar with bass lines like a cello with viola and two violins at the top. One of my great interests is what a string quartet can offer. That suits the Alto guitar. This is a project that in many ways is groundbreaking in effect a long musical tradition – among other things. mentally thinking about string quartet on an alto guitar.


Schools can teach you a lot of different things, but is this what really matters in your opinion? How can you develop your own style?

 With regard to developing a personal style, you do not get away with the question. For whom and for what do I do this – since it’s just made up of each of us, music should be personal – play like the one you are. Some general information is given to music through studies and schools. All things in a life: joy – sadness – defeat – will to seek – and constantly be unarmed with clichés – and do not think the same all the time. Much lies in the desire and not to let others break your vision of what music is based on just that it’s just one of us. It’s important to play as you hear. It has its price. Despite concerts in Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall NYC has its own material – Japan – China – France – Mexico – United Arab Emirates – Finland – Sweden – Iceland – Faroe Island – Russia – Netherland – Scotland etc. Today I havent been invited to any jazz festivals in Norway – So in many ways I exist in spite of – not because of the music environment in Norway that I experience molded for people who fit in – I do not fit in.


Last question: would you recommend to readers 3 artists of any kind?

Jan Lievens ( Dutch painter ) (1607 –1674 ) David Bowie ( 1947 – 2016 (Leonard Bernstein 1918 –1990 )



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