Matthew Barley

New album by British cellist with music by Jan Bang

Matthew Barley: "The album opens with a piece written in 2012 when I commissioned Jan Bang, Norwegian composer, DJ and master of sound design, to create music for me to improvise with – the result was Noticing Things".

Jan writes: “I was introduced to Dai Fujikura through working on David Sylvian ́s album, Manafon. So when the invitation came from Matthew Barley
to rework Dai ́s commissioning piece I was pleased to say yes. Noticing Things evolved into a reinvention of Dai ́s originals using the ‘Aria’, ‘Awakening’ and ‘Floating’ movements as starting point for these three small pieces: In ‘Implanted Memories’ I wanted to make something that had a reference to Dai ́s ‘Floating’ and still had reminiscences of both pieces I ́d put together and of Dai ́s work as a whole. The drone is being treated only by the use of pitch/EQ giving it a sense of clarity both technically with more space for Matthew ́s cello improvisations, but also offering the listener a possible room for his own imagination.”

Matthew Barley: "All the cello parts for Noticing Things are improvised – a creative task I enjoyed chewing upon, listening repeatedly to the tracks Jan had made to familiarise myself with their content and shape". The next movement of Jan Bang’s Noticing Things, ‘Replica’, “uses a beautiful melody from Dai Fujikura’s ‘Aria’, but with different blocks of sound to give it another view from a different angle.” (Jan Bang)

About Jan Bang’s third movement, ‘Flooded Corridors’ he writes: “There is a little pizzicato part in Dai Fujikura’s ‘Awakening’ that brought my attention as glaringly special. I took that as a starting point for this non-metrical piece that I somehow think of as a calligraphic drawing of irregular beats and parallel colours. There are small occurring incidents created in my studio in Kristiansand using my hardware Akai sampler.”

Matthew Barley´s Electric is out on Signum Classics and can be purchased here


Albums of the year


Uli Koch of Manafonistas. com has listed Dai Fujikura and Jan Bang -  The Bow Maker in albums of the year:


Svein Kruse (1955 – 2022) 

Occasionally small towns foster certain individuals that function as important parts in the development of local communities. Their primary role is being taste makers. They´re not music journalists or musicians, neither teachers nor employees of any community centre, but have more in common with shamans searching the underworld and returning with new wisdom. Tastemakers have a love of music and an urge to share what they´ve seen or heard with others within their community. 

In the small town of Kristiansand where I grew up, this person was Svein Kruse. At six foot five he ranged high above the rest of us. A man with strong opinions and a fearless commentator. His day job was at Toots - a record shop specializing in experimental music with imports from Canada. At nights he would be going to concerts. Often ending up in deep conversations with visiting musicians, voicing his frank opinions. 

From May to August, he would be DJ´ing at Kick, an outdoor club that decades later would be reconstructed, covered with a roof and on occasions served as a venue for Punkt. Kick had these beautiful chairs that were designed to rock back and forth working perfectly with the music coming out of the sound system. As far as I remember, there was no dance floor. Everyone was rocking together in their individual seats. Svein would also be Dj´ing sets at a club called Kjelleren where restaurant Mother India currently is situated. 

I turned 15 in the summer of ´83. That year I started working for Mike Lewis, an expat from London importing records, mainly 12-inches from the UK. This was heaven for me being a young aspiring musician, absorbed in the world of music. Listening to AM radio at nights, and spending after school hours searching for new discoveries from last night listening sessions.


The Bright Purple House 

One day Svein walked into the shop. He invited me to his bright purple house the same day and played me music I had never heard before. It was the first time I heard Jon Hassell's "Dream Theory in Malaya" and the first time I ever heard Scott Walker with the otherworldly "Sleepwalkers Woman". Heavenly music that left a deep mark on me and my musical life. We instantly became friends. 

I have a clear vision of sitting in his living room listening to Holger Czukay´s wonderful “Cool in the Pool” and Roger Eno´s “Voices”, Harold Budd´s “The Pearl” and Byrne/Eno´s “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts”. Other gems from that era were records by Mathilde Santing, “From Gardens Where We Feel Secure” by Viriginia Astley, The Last Poets, Working Week, “He Stranger” by Anne Pigalle and all the other releases from the ZTT label run by the writer Paul Morley and producer Trevor Horn.

I often popped by Svein´s home. The sound of Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Jah Wobble and Ann Clark´s "Our Darkness" coming out of the speakers. This coulorful building in the city centre was later demolished and re-erected at Agder Museum sometime in the early 90s. Always elegantly dressed. Quick, witted, and alert in his remarks - Svein introduced music to generations as a DJ at Kick and Kjelleren: "Masimba Bele" by Unknown Cases; He Said´s "Pump"; The The´s "Infected" come to mind - and Art of Noise "Moments in Love" - the highlight number that marked the end of an evening at Kick. 

According to legend, Producer Trever Horn once stated that the 12” single of “Moments in Love” biggest selling singular territory was in a small town in the southern part of Norway. We sold ship loads of that record. Somewhere within that equation you will find Svein Kruse. 

  • Kruse died new year´s eve 2022 and is survived by his wife Sissel Undheim and their two sons Magnus and Johannes.

2022: The best bits

The Bow Maker in best list of 2023 by Richard Williams

This was a year in which an overriding professional commitment prevented me from getting to many gigs before the autumn or seeing more than a handful of movies and exhibitions. I attended no theatre or dance performances and read no new poetry or contemporary fiction, although I did listen to a lot of CDs. But one thing I won’t forget. In the summer there were those three unreal days when the temperature in London hovered just shy of 40 degrees. A week or so later I ventured into the park a few minutes from where I live. It looked like a savannah, but a first sprinkling of rain had brought birds of many kinds to peck beneath the straw-coloured grass for emerging invertebrates. As I walked through the flocks, I picked up a feather. It may have belonged to a gull. I thought then, and I think now, that in addition to being as beautiful as anything imaginable, it’s a reminder to maintain some perspective on the state of this man-made world. 



1 Steve Lehman and Sélébéyone: Xaybu — The Unseen (Pi)

2 Samora Pinderhughes: Grief (Stretch Music)

3 Gabriels: Angels & Queens (Parlophone)

4 Tom Skinner: Voices of Bishara (Brownswood)

5 Son Little: Like Neptune (Anti-)

6 Liun + The Science Fiction Orchestra: Lily of the Nile (Heartcore)

7 Mavis Staples/Levon Helm: Carry Me Home (Anti-)

8 Immanuel Wilkins: The 7th Hand (Blue Note)

9. Weyes Blood: And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow (Sub Pop)

10 The Smile: A Light for Attracting Attention (XL)

11 Wolfert Brederode: Ruins and Remains (ECM)

12 Mary Halvorson: Amaryllis/Belladonna (Nonesuch)

13 Cécile McLorin Salvant: Ghost Song (nonesuch)

14 Geir Sundstøl: The Studio Intim Sessions Vol 1 (Hubro)

15 The Weather Station: How Is It That I Should Look at the Stars (Fat Possum)

16 Charles Lloyd: Chapel (Blue Note)

17 Olie Brice Trio/Octet: Fire Hills (West Hill)

19 Dai Fujikura/Jan Bang: The Bow Maker (Punkt Editions)

20 Binker Golding: Dream Like a Dogwood Wild Boy (Gearbox)

21 Moor Mother: Jazz Codes (Anti-)

22 Jasper Høiby’s Planet B: What It Means To Be Human (Edition)

23 Bonnie Raitt: Just Like That (Redwing)

24 Barre Phillips/György Kurtág Jr: Face à face (ECM)

25 Miguel Zenón: Música de las Américas (Miel Music)

26 The Henrys: Shrug (bandcamp)

27 Lisbeth Quartet: Release (Intakt)

28 Jon Balke: Hafla (ECM)

29 Sebastian Gahler: Two Moons (JazzSick)

30 Yasuhiro Kohno Trio +1: Song of Island (BBE)


The Bow Maker listed in album of the year list by Michael Engelbrecht (Deutschland radio / 


1) Brian Eno: Foreverandevernomore 
2) Lambchop: The Bible 
3) Father John Misty: Chloé And The Next Twentieth Century 
4) The Smile: A Light For Attracting Attention 
5) Alabaster dePlume: Gold 
6) Bill Callahan: YTILAER 
7)  Oded Tzur: Isabela 
8) Daniel Lanois: Player, Piano 
9) Moor Mother: Jazz Codes 
10) Evgueni Galperine: Theory of Becoming 
11)  Midori Takada: Cutting Branches For A Temporary Shelter * 
12) Keith Jarrett: Bordeaux Concert 
13) Avishai Cohen: Naked Truth 
14) Jon Balke / Siwan: Hafla 
15) Toechter: Zephyr 
16) Wolfert Brederode: Ruins And Remains 
17) David Virelles: Nuna 
18) Dai Fujikura & Jan Bang: The Bow Maker 
19) Roger Eno: The Turning Light 
20) Horace Andy: Midnight Rocker 
21) The Unthanks: Sorrows Away 
22) Big Thief: Dragon New Warm Mountan I Believe In You 
23) Makaya McCraven: In These Times 
24) JD Allen III: Americana, Vol. 2 
25) Geir Sundstol: The Studio Intim Sessions Vol. 1

Jan Bang performing with Sanem Kalfa

North Sea Round Town in June, 2023