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 The title could be from a movie, or a poem, or a thriller. But it comes from sounds. Ambiguity is a point on the second album of Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang. Always a delight if a certain sound is not linked to a clearly defined emotion. It all moves in between, in moderate tempi, and different modes of slow, slow motion. Daring and adventurous, the duo‘s musics doesn’t serve at all some listeners‘ needs for recognizable grooves or old school ambience. There‘s a free spirit wailing, and chances are good all these strangely constructed, floating pieces of pure imagination put a soft spell on you. Call „Snow Catches on her Eyelashes“ modern mood music if you want – and if you don‘t mind goose skin, a recurring sense of wonder, and moments of pure excitement. 



Michael: This second duo album has a different feel compared to
Dream Logic. How would you describe its overall mood, or subtlely changing atmospheres? The title of the album suggests a cinematic flair, though it‘s certainly not related to a certain movie.


Jan Bang: The album was recorded in the Punkt Studio in Kristiansand over a long period of time. Some of the first sketches (i.e. Asphalt Lake) started already in 2012. Others came during the main recording period between 2017 -2019. With the „Dream Logic“ album (ECM), the working process was shorter in span, but that was where we gained a good work flow together in the studio. A lot of the same techniques were repeated on „Snow Collected On Her Eyelashes“, but with different outcome. I like to think of the album and its title as a travelogue. The title refers if you will to a modern traveler in a Northern hemisphere, but can have different meaning to others.


It seems to me that most of the music grew out of improvisations, and post-production has been big deal here. How would you describe the process of these pieces finally finding its shape within a well-chosen sequence?


Not entirely true. Some of the pieces (i.e. Monochrome), and the two „Sphere“ pieces started with both of us in the same room. Serenade, Purplebright and Asphalt lake started with programming which was later carefully shaped with Eivind onboard. The pianist Hilde Norbakken and myself had done a few live performances of Before the wedding, before we decided it would be a possible candidate for the album with a guitar overdub by Eivind. A couple of compositions were more or less his, like „Nightspell“ and „Two days in June“, the latter being, at least in my book, the centerpiece of the album.


Can you describe the process of working on one track of your choice, to make clear how sometimes things fall into place organically, or, on the other side, need some treatments in the details to fulfil the expectations of the two of you?


The above mentioned Two days in June is based on a live performance Eivind did with dancer Christine Brunel who sadly passed away during the making of the album. I added cello and small treated sounds to give it more focus. In the coda I added some programming that I had originally done for the German theremin player Barbara Buchholtz, who sadly passed away far too young. The piece is a celebration in memory of them both. The two „Sphere“ pieces and Monochrome were done pretty fast.


Of course, you shy away from labeling such an album, because every branding narrows the perspective. But can you name some of the inspirations while working on an album that looks through a territory of sounds beyond standard experimentalism.


I guess the material comes together with inspirations from different angles: the baselines you can so often find in music from the past, from the 50´s when bass parts often played single notes without the virtuosity that with exceptions came came later. The other sound ideal comes from modern composition and the way both of us have incorporated a more European contemporary sound world that is an amalgam of the acoustic and electronic world of sounds. Working with the Ensemble Modern, different free improvisers like Sidsel Endresen, Hamid Drake and recently now in London with a recording session with David Toop and Confront label owner Mark Wastell – has given me inspiration to step into the unknown with curiosity. 


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