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Jerry Johansson - JPop.com
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Jerry Johansson

Jerry Johansson

Jerry Johansson


Jerry Johansson started out his musical journey some distant years ago in the Swedish city of Varberg, then as a guitar player and composer in various rock- and jazz-groups. After having had a minor revelation when experiencing a George Harrison-composition on a Beatles-album; an overwhelmed Jerry realised that the point of no return had finally arrived. He immediately began studying the classical Indian raga and the world of the sitar on an advanced level, with a most serious approach. Read more on Last.fm
Jerry Johansson started out his musical journey some distant years ago in the Swedish city of Varberg, then as a guitar player and composer in various rock- and jazz-groups. After having had a minor revelation when experiencing a George Harrison-composition on a Beatles-album; an overwhelmed Jerry realised that the point of no return had finally arrived. He immediately began studying the classical Indian raga and the world of the sitar on an advanced level, with a most serious approach. This newly found universe of his does not only need highly concentrated and daily practise, but also requires an ascetical way of living and a humble approach to the world at large. Sitar master Roop Verma appears, himself a former student of master Ravi Shankar; and he takes Jerry under his wings, so to speak, and Jerry becomes his pupil. Jerry practises various Indian modal scales and ways of thinking and plays and plays, and in time reaches the innermost soul and spirit of the classical Indian raga. The open mind of Jerry assimilates impressions and ideas, and the sitar player Jerry Johansson moves on from there to here; from a student to finally becoming a sitar master performer himself. As such, Jerry moves freely as an adventurous musical earth-traveller in the best of senses; combining Indian ways of looking at the world with bare Swedish feet in the glowing grass of the sparkling world known as the ever-present NOW! Selected recordings: "Raga på svenska" (Prova Productions PPS1004) is the first cd-recording in where Jerry allows the world of Indian raga melt together with the Swedish folk music heritage in a totally natural blend. The word "raga" translates to "song", so with his bare feet deeply rooted in folk music, Jerry travels on to new horizons in his totally original mixture of Swedish and Indian ways of musical innovation and thinking. In "Dan Fröberg and Jerry Johansson" (Håll Tjäften TJÄFT 004), Jerry collaborates with artist and composer Dan Fröberg in a series of dual compositions with Dan´s soundworks and Jerry´s sitar and guitar playing blending together in uniqe and startling ways. Folk music has never sounded like this before or after... In 2005, Jerry was commisioned to write a piece for sitar and a string quartet from the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. 10 months later, the world premiere took place in Hagakyrkan in Göteborg, and shortly thereafter released on cd by Kning Disk (KD008).

A highly impressive recording which has been greeted with critical acclaim all over the planet. Jerry Johansson´s latest composition for sitar, tambura and string quartet is called Next Door Conversation. This time, a santour is also added to the musical texture. Next Door Conversation is a new extended work, in where ancient Indian traditions of the classical raga music assimilates together with the Swedish heritage of folk music; but also incorporates the knowledge and understanding of contemporary classical music. Musical textures extends, re-shapes and changes places; in Jerry Johansson´s exquisite ways of thinking and blending our ancient musical heritage from both East and West, a totally new and unique music emerges.

A music in where traces remembrances from then and now, Scandinavia and Asia assimilates together to a totally natural music that is all Jerry Johansson´s. Next Door Conversation is also released on cd by Kning Disk (KD038). The performance is a live recording, recorded on the world premiere performance in Konserthuset, Göteborg in December 2006. Jerry Johansson; sitar, a String Quartet from Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Camilla Wahlberg; tambura and Farivar Khosravi; santour. In the world of Jerry Johansson, Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan lives neighbourly close with fellow souls John Cage and Morton Feldman, and now you are all invited to join in for the ride; so check out these cd´s and find yourself in an altogether new, but very wonderful place and state of mind. REVIEWS: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Jerry Johansson And a String Quartet from Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (KD008) 9/10 Over the past many years, my interest in Eastern music and art has risen dramatically.

A particular infatuation with Indian stringed instruments was at the center of this near-obsession, and especially their use in Western music. On this CD from the amazing Kning Disk imprint out of Sweden, we get the perfect blend of Eastern and Western classical styles. It's a unique and enchanting aural journey. On this two-track CD (each clocking in at just around 25 minutes), Johansson plays sitar while his compatriot, Camilla Wahlberg, provides the mesmerizing tanpura backing. Along with three violins and a cello, the six musicians on this recording start on an expedition down the Ganges, only to end up floating freely in the Baltic Sea.

As the first track begins with it's whimpering violins and plucked cello, it seems as though this will be traditional Western fare. But two minutes in, Johansson and Wahlberg crash the party. This piece introduces each section of instrumentation individually, beginning with what most Western ears are used to before offering up a slice of shimmering Indian delight. The sitar and tanpura are as alluring as ever, but the real magic begins around the seven minute mark when both forces collide. Johansson composed and arranged each of the tracks here, a feat that is no less impressive than his skills on the sitar.

It is the perfect juxtaposition of these two, separate modes. Each side has its moments of being in the fore, and nobody's toes get stepped on. Johansson's compositions show a great deal of knowledge and respect for each side of the coin. He allows the instruments plenty of room to breathe, but keeping them in-line enough so that everything remains cohesive and on-track.

In all, it's a brilliant exercise by an extremely talented individual. This album is the near-perfect melding of Eastern and Western classical styles, giving listeners a chance to experience two approaches of music simultaneously. It's a glorious juxtaposition and one of the albums of the year... a true delight. (c) 2006 Brad Rose Digitalis Industries (28 June, 2006) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Jerry Johansson Next Door Conversation (KD038) 8/10 I had decided that it would be a bit lazy to compare this ravishing disc to George Harrison. Given the fact that the predominant instrument is sitar, and that there is a definite symphonic feel to things as they episodically unfold, it just seemed too obvious.

On the other hand, I was a bit stumped as to alternate musical landmarks to point out so that a prospective listener could get his or her bearings. Not to worry. A bit of research revealed that the artist himself lists Mr. Harrison among his influences, which isn’t surprising since it has become a rite of passage to be introduced to the citrus hum and buzz of the sitar through Beatles recordings. Clearly Mr.

Johansson has taken that ball of raga & run with it, becoming extremely well-versed in the complexities of the sitar, a somewhat baffling instrument for most folks & produced a wonderful, powerful recording here. He is masterfully assisted by a string quartet from the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, as well as musicians playing tambura & santour. This provides interesting counterpoints as tone colors shift from chamber music to Indian raga to an intoxicating blend of the two. The sound is tangy & creamy, flowing along with just enough air to feel improvised & alive, along with just enough structure to sound composed. I would say it is most likely a bit of both, and while there are ambient elements woven into the carpet (as the title would suggest), there is more than enough vibrant incense to sustain interest, just enough ambient shimmer to invoke anticipation. This recording brings to mind both (interstellar) space & soil, evoking many moods & colors. Harken unto it. (c) 2007 John Bullabaugh Digitalis Industries (14 August, 2007) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Read more on Last.fm.

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