Dark Star Safari’s Second Album Next on Arjunamusic Records

'Walk Through Lightly' LP is scheduled for September 24 release.

Arjunamusic Records will present a new album by Dark Star Safari, the project of Jan Bang, Erik Honoré, Eivind Aarset, Samuel Rohrer, and John Derek Bishop. 

Walk Through Lightly is the group’s second album, following their self-titled debut in 2019. It’s the first to feature John Derek Bishop, a producer from Stavanger, Norway. This makes for a “more organic refinement” upon a methodology that sees them writing songs using a two-stage process: an initial phase of free-flowing open improvisation, and a subsequent “exploratory phase” where “hidden potentials” are “discovered and nurtured.”

Within these layered, many-textured fabrics, the lyrical imagery delivered by Bang focuses upon coming to grips with sudden transformations. 

We’re told that this second album is “frosted over with a Scandinavian sense of spatiality and melancholy,” and that listeners will feel as if “teleported directly into the middle of an enigmatic film-in-progress.” 

Arjunamusic Records, based in Berlin, Germany, has been focusing on experimental acoustic music since 2012. For more information on label head Samuel Rohrer, check out his XLR8R podcast here

Tracklisting

01. Patria
02.Life Stand Still
03. Portraits of You
04. Measured Response
05. Father’s Day
06. Invocation
07. Murmuration
08. Passover
09. Disembodied
10. Walk Through Lightly

Walk Through Lightly LP is scheduled for September 24 release. 

Editor’s note: We’ll add pre-order links and public streams as they become available. 

 

 

PUNKT 2021

Kristiansand, Norway 2-4 September

Like last year, and for the same reasons, the Punkt 2021 program is based on artists living in Norway. And like last year, we anticipate three days of high quality music in high quality surroundings.

This has been a challenging time, but it has given musicians the opportunity to take a step back and create new music. Thus, there will be no less than three release concerts and one commissioned work at Punkt 2021.

Jan will be performing the release concert of Dark Star Safari as well as giving one of the live remixes alongside Erik Honoré and the eminent folk singer Kirsten Bråten Berg.

 

 

WITH THESE HANDS. First of six performances at Hellerau, Dresden with Ensemble Modern and Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company. Choreography: Jacopo Godani.

WITH THESE HANDS. First of six performances at Hellerau, Dresden with Ensemble Modern and Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company. Choreography: Jacopo Godani.

Music as a slowly evolving prism

Jon Hassell 1937-2021

The title belongs to musician Richard Horowitz, a longtime collaborator and friend of trumpeter and composer Jon Hassell - writing in respond to the Royce Hall concert in LA a decade ago.

 

Surrounded by his family and friends Jon died peacefully in his home in LA on Saturday June 26. As one of his two goddaughters, Uti Cleveland mentioned after the ceremony: “Jon could tell how the world was, not what he would like it to be”.

 

Some musicians have the ability to speak directly to the heart. That is a gift of God or whatever you choose to call it.  Jon had that gift. It´s something about hearing a tone in a special way, that when listening, you immediately recognize it as something almost private. A personal thing you possess in your life knowing it will be with you forever.

 

In many ways Jon became my mentor, part of my DNA. I had the fortune of getting to know the man very well over a period of five years from 2005 when he first came to the Punkt festival in my hometown Kristiansand together with guitarist Eivind Aarset. 

 

Two years later upon his return to Norway, I became a regular member of his band and from then we travelled the world together performing in various places ranging from Reykjavik to Sydney. Wherever Jon got invited to perform, I would be there right next to him. Playing alongside him in France with Gnawa musicians, or in Carnegie Hall in NYC and various places in the US and throughout Europe was just great. 

 

When performing at the Big Ears festival in Knoxville, Texas – he would tell how familiar the landscape would be to his growing up in Memphis, Tennessee. The swamp and the heat. As a teenager he would listen to blues in small clubs. Later studies in Rochester and hearing Gesang de Junglinge he would decide going to Europe to study with Stockhausen. 

 

He had great admiration for Terry Riley being the true originator of minimalism and their journey to India and studies back in the US with Pandit Pran Nath where Jon would learn to 

first sing and then transfer the vocal lines to his trumpet playing – like calligraphy, but with sound where he would learn to draw a perfect line with the sound of his trumpet.

 

Through Jon I met Brian Eno and remember fondly a long breakfast in London the day after performing at London Jazz festival. The two of them had taken up their friendship from a few years without contact. When driving out of London to the airport I mentioned to Jon how beautiful it was seeing two old friends making up after years of silence. Jon simply responded: “Well, Brian´s my homeboy”.

 

In 2008 we went into the recording studio with Manfred Eicher and recorded what was to become Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes In The Street (ECM). The recording took place at La Buissone Studios in Avignon, France. The musicians were all American and consisted of Rick Cox (guitar); Jamie Muhoberac (synthesizer); the late Peter Freeman (bass); Jon (tpt, keyboards) and myself on live sampling.

 

Arnaud Mercier who faithfully was working with Jon since 2003 and right up to his passing in 2021 – was there as a second engineer next to the studio´s in-house engineers, and with Manfred producing the album. The end results incorporated live recordings from Courtrais, Belgium and later recordings from when bringing Punkt to London the same year. Finally J.A Deane, Helge Norbakken and Kheir-Eddine M´Kachiche would be added to the mix.

 

When our collaboration came to an end, he would tell me the only music he would listen to was Ravel´s Le Gibet from Gaspard de la Nuit.

 

On the day of the private memorial service, I was on my bike heading home from town when hearing the church bells ring. And I remembered when Jon did the Punkt commission playing the church bells. Jon and Arnaud had organized it in a way so that the pitches would play high notes in the morning and would slowly transpose downwards during the day and ending with a beautiful low sounding gong at midnight.

 

Reminded by the Paul Simon song about the two Johns – John Lennon and the late great Johnny Ace. Adding a third Jon to the song – singing to myself: 

 

On a lovely Sunday morning
In beginning of summertime

When a friend called up and asked me 

if I´d heard Jon Hassell died

 

And the two of us went to this bar

and we´d stayed to close the place 

And every song we played was for 

the late great Johnny Ace

 

(free adaptation from The Late Great Johnny Ace)

 

 

Jon Hassell was my friend and I loved him madly.

 

  • Jan Bang, Kristiansand July 5, 2021  

WITH THESE HANDS

Performing in Dresden 8-11 July 2021

Jan Bang / Ensemble Modern / Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company and Jacopo Godani

With these hands expresses the overall concept: every evening, a new dialogue will take place between music and dance. The musicians from Ensemble Modern and the dancers from the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company will give each other impulses, developing sounds and movements that will be recorded, processed, altered and reintroduced into the creative flow by Norwegian jazz musician and live electronics artist Jan Bang. The result will be a slowly changing stream of movement and music in which sound and dance become inextricably intertwined.

Ensemble Modern is one of the leading ensembles for contemporary music. It brings together approximately 20 soloists whose diverse origins provide the cultural background for the group’s creative efforts.

Jan Bang is a Norwegian musician and record producer. He is a musical innovator and bridge-builder who has repeatedly succeeded in uniting progressive thought with appealing elements of popular culture.

 

WITH THESE HANDS

 

CONCEPT AND CHOREOGRAPHY JACOPO GODANI
MUSIC JAN BANG / ENSEMBLE MODERN

Concept and Choreography Jacopo Godani
Music Jan Bang (Live-Electronics), Ensemble Modern (Dietmar Wiesner - Flute, Saar Berger - Horn, Sava Stoianov - Trumpet, Jagdish Mistry - Violin, Eva Böcker - Violoncello,
Norbert Ommer - Sound Control)

Stage/Costumes/Light Jacopo Godani


Perfomance dates:

July 8-11 2021 in Dresden.