Time Is A Blind Guide
Its melodies unfurl sinuously over shifting rhythmic patterns. The ensemble was built to include a number of overlapping musical sub-groups. "There is a kind of enhanced piano trio at the centre of Time Is A Blind Guide," says Strønen. "And there is a string group with violin and cello and bass as well as a drum ensemble with me and Siv Øyunn Kjenstad and Steinar Mossige". The two percussionists often assert strong and solid grooves, allowing Strønen to play freely on top of the rhythms and to interact dynamically with the outstanding young English pianist Kit Downes, who makes his ECM debut here.
The band (its name derives from a literary source, "Time is a blind guide" being the first sentence in Canadian author Anne Michaels's 1996 novel, Fugitive Pieces) was formed rather spontaneously, following an invitation from BBC Radio 3 presenter Fiona Talkington. An early supporter of the Strønen/Iain Ballamy group 'Food', she commissioned Thomas to write music for a combination of Norwegian and British musicians for Conexions, a concert series she was curating in Oslo. The group played concerts over a two year period before going to the studio - Oslo's Rainbow Studio - in July 2015, with Strønen and Sun Chung producing.
'Time Is A Blind Guide' is one of two ECM albums issued this season featuring the music of Thomas Strønen. The other is Food's 'This Is Not A Miracle', which is released on 6 November.
Personnel: Thomas Strønen (drums and percussion), Kit Downes (piano), Håkon Aase (violin); Ole Morten Vågan (double bass), Lucy Railton (cello), Siv Øyunn Kjenstad (percussion), Steinar Mossige (percussion)
- The Stone Carriers
- Baka / Tide
- Everything Disappears I
- I Don't Wait For Anyone
- The Drowned City
- Lost Souls
- Everything Disappears II (Ode to JT)
- Time Is A Blind Guide
- As We Wait For Time