This album presents a collection of works by the Norwegian composer Bjørn Bolstad Skjelbred (b.1970), all composed between 2001 and 2013. The works have been written with melodic percussion as the central and dominating element – with various surrounding ensembles – performed by the recognized Norwegian percussionist Eirik Raude. The smaller chamber formations very suitably illustrate several of the central compositional and poetic aspects of Skjelbred's music.
The music of Skjelbred is quiet, and just like his shy persona it is exactly this quietness that gives the music its character and originality. This is not music that leaps off the stage and authoritatively grabs the listener. It is rather music that encourages the listener to actively advance, to follow the finely chiselled processes that you will find under the surface, in sequences that in Skjelbred consciously avoid being directed towards final and unambiguous goals. One rarely finds that the composer in his works wishes to draw rigorous conclusions.
Skjelbred says himself: "I think that art is the place where the conclusions are not the most important thing, but the unanswered questions. I regard this as a logarithmic curve, a kind of parabola – where you have a steep development curve in the beginning that gradually approaches the base line but never reaches it completely. To fully understand another human being (or oneself) is thus impossible."
In meeting Bjørn Bolstad Skjelbred's music, he does not ask that you as a listener fasten your seatbelt, but rather loosen it carefully, rise from your seat and approach the music, slowly walking, with your mind and ears open. You will hear a source of sound that illustrates paradoxes both in nature's imminent, quiet (!) drama and in all the strange versions of our human social relations that basically, and finally, can be explained in a longing to understand the other person.