The beautiful new album by Ole Theill ‘Transparent is out now in all digital stores & available on Heavyweight 180g LP & Glass mastered CD.
Formally, Transparent was about three years in the making, the fruit of periodic dialogue between Ole and Brazillian-American composer Clarice Assad. For the 64-year-old Danish tabla- master, however, this is the album he’s been composing in his mind for a lifetime.
If Ole’s tablas are the heart, providing the rhythmic drive and structure, then the string quartet is the nerve centre of the album. Arranged by Assad and performed by Danish collective Halvcirkel, they serve up compelling narratives of measured yet acrobatic motives. On ‘Between Leaves’, billowing like Egyptian cotton in mountain winds. Or on ‘Sunfoni’, coiling like incense around the dancing tablas.
Lengthy recording sessions, described as days of pure magic by the artist, also featured Danish jazz composer Kenneth Knudsen whose involvement echoes throughout in asymmetric patterns and gentle dissonance, especially on the Morton Feldman-ish ‘Holy Kashi’. Thomas Fonnesbæk also features on double-bass.
The songs are almost rhapsodic. They swell and surge like chimerical story arcs, discontinuously engrossed in opaque strangeness or ablaze with emotion. Themes of home and away persist. Serene auras flare up into thrills of adventure and discovery. Lost worlds painted in impressionist strokes. Ole thinks it’s the best thing he’s ever done. That’s spanning a career of
four decades. Maybe so. There’s definitely something about it.
Some primitive yet transcendent language, sparked up in these dialogues between musicians. The music of a lifetime.