Crane DanceTrio
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Crane DanceTrio


Band Folk World




"Crane Dance argues eloquently for its power and beauty"

Jonas Simonson,
Crane Dance
(Nordic Tradition, 2007)

Spare and evocative, Swedish flautist Jonas Simonson's Crane Dance is the perfect antidote to the sort of blandly overproduced "ethnic" music that tends to make it to the mainstream. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with, say, Celtic Woman, but this is the real thing: folk music, no bells and whistles, just solid musicianship and an audible timelessness.
The 17 instrumental tracks on Crane Dance include traditional Swedish waltzes, marches and polonaises, and Simonson's own crane-themed compositions. It is with one of these, the flute solo "Crane Song I," that the CD opens. The hollow, delicate notes of Simonson's double willow flute have an organic and improvised feel, as if produced by the wind itself. These "crane songs" often act as interludes for the livelier pieces of traditional material, but they end up being the most haunting tracks on the CD. "Crane Halling," in particular, has the sound of some ancient ritual. Building up from a solo on the Swedish harjedalspipa flute, it turns hypnotically percussive with the gradual addition of talking drums, rattles and bells.
The traditional pieces, with origins in different parts of Sweden, are not quite as memorable, but they offer a good variety of moods and sounds. They range from the dirge-like "March from Seglora" to the playful, slightly off-kilter "Waltz from Skara." Accompanied by guitar, fiddle, viola and occasional percussion, Simonson plays a variety of woodwinds with supple, unpretentious grace. "Savare" offers a particularly lovely duet between flute and fiddle that, like many of the tracks, tempers liveliness with a faint, melancholy aftertaste. Simonson's arrangements are sparse yet subtle, and like everything about Crane Dance, unobtrusively tasteful.
This extends to the elegantly designed liner notes. Probably more aesthetic than useful, they provide some information on the instrumentation and origins of the pieces, but are only partially and whimsically translated into English. As an example, the double page centre spread features a photo of hundreds of cranes, a Basho haiku in Japanese on the left and its Swedish translation on the right. An English translation, probably for aesthetic reasons, is nowhere in sight. However, a little ingenuity, a rudimentary understanding of kanji and the indefatigable resource that is Google came to the rescue and produced this translation: "The crane's legs / have gotten shorter / in the spring rain."
It's a contemplative, slightly opaque image, and one that is perfectly suited for this recording. I know very little about Nordic music, but Crane Dance argues eloquently for its power and beauty.

Jennifer Mo -

"As elegant and magical as the mating dance of the cranes"

“As elegant and magical as the mating dance of the cranes – the dance of the music enchants the listener. This is true listening pleasure for the discriminatling folk music lover. The ensemble, Jonas and his fellow musicians, Mats Edén, fiddle and Mattias Perez, guitar, have incredibly close interplay and are thoroughly musical.”
Alexandra Ullsten, in the magazine Lira reviewing the CD Crane Dance - Lira


Crane Dance -2007, Nordic Tradition



Mats Edén and Jonas Simonson have been playing together since 1983, when their paths crossed for the first time as members of the ensemble Groupa. Their intricate teamwork has continued to develop over the years. Receptive, creative guitarist Mattias Perez is the perfect complement, making the trio inventive and sensitive. You can hear them live, as both concert and dance musicians – Mats with his hypnotic springlek (Swedish folk tunes) and Jonas with his subtle hallings (Norwegian folk tunes) playing folk melodies from the Swedish provinces of Värmland and Västergötland as well as from Norway.

Jonas Simonson flute, alto flute, overtone flute, Härjedal pipe
Simonson has played in a wide variety of groups on the contemporary folk music scene for the last twentyfive years. His intensive, rhythmic flute tones have contributed to the success of the tirelessly creative veteran ensemble Groupa, the more recent folkrockjazz ensemble Den Fule, the absolutely new folk electronica experiment Folkmaskinen, and the brilliant, now defunct folk trio Bäsk, as well as the wind-fiddle trio Kapell Frisell.

Mats Edén fiddle, viola d’amore, accordion
Mats Edén grew up in the province of Värmländ, where Swedish folk music is deeply rooted. He was one of the founding members of the legendary ensemble Groupa in 1980. His fiddling is elegant and virtuoso, and with his combination of Swedish and Norwegian folk strains, he leaves his own mark on the music, no matter what context he is playing in. Mats has toured the world with Groupa, Ale Möller and Lena Willemark in the ECM Nordan project, Annbjørg Lien, Bruce Molsky, and others. He has also recorded a number of solo albums on the AMIGO label. His third Solo album, Milvus, with Jonas Simonson and Norwegian string quartet Cikada, was released in 1999 on the renowned ECM label.

Mattias Pérez 12-string guitar
Mattias is a frequently-engaged guitarist. Among others, he plays with: with vocalist Åström Rune, with his own trio MP3, and with Outhouse Allstars, an ensemble with cult status today. He has also performed with musicians such as Ånon Egeland andMats Berglund, and with the Harv ensemble. He has also played with the Västanå Theater, appearing in productions such as The Magic Flute, and two plays based on works by Selma Lagerlöf: Gösta Berling’s Saga, and En Herrgårdssägen (The Tale of a Manor).Mattias teaches at the Ingesund Academy of Music.