Photo: Guri Dahl

Sounds and Sights

In the Country return to the US for a May tour.

In the Country is a young Norwegian jazz trio that takes its name from notions of out-of-town travels and home-turf exploration. The members share a love for revisiting their own country, exploring mountain, forest, coast and sea; sharing favourite places and spots with each other.

May sees the trio returning to the US for a string of live dates, including appearances in Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Bloomington, Baltimore and New Orleans.

Autumn 2011 saw the release of the trio’s latest outing, the live CD/DVD recording ‘Sounds and Sights’ on Rune Grammofon. The album features selections from all studio albums, two new tracks and a sublime interpretation of Mark Knopfler´s classic ”Brothers In Arms”, all recorded in live in October 2010. As a bonus the listeners also get a stunning hour long art / concert film on dvd. Tarkovsky-like dream sequences and abstract art visuals go hand in hand with multi camera concert footage from the same shows as the cd.

Read The Guardian’s Marcus O’ Dair excellent introduction to the trio HERE.

The trio’s shared mind-set of geographical exploration is also defining for the music they make: Indifferent to excess and grandeur -almost shy- the general orientation is rather one of unhurried and honest clarity. This means narrowing down to musical particulars and upholding tranquil simplicity rather than pushing limits and excelling in performance. The characteristics of unhurried motion and simple “cleansing” structures, with only few emphasized details, do indeed bear similarities to experiences of nature or countryside. It reminds one of the promise of enlightenment through simplicity and it gives the music a character of what the New York Times in its review of their latest album “Losing Stones, Collecting Bones,” called translucent intimacy. This concept refers to the atmosphere of internal coalescence that the music manifests: The record shows for itself an exquisite kind of openness and freedom; a lightness to make music that doesn’t prove anything, but simply reveals the honest musical conceptions of the band.

There is something serene about the way In the Country’s music motions through the record's pieces; like the air from room to room. And these rooms are indeed translucent, or open to one another: In the Country’s focus is on incorporating and expressing disparate influences and expressions. -More important than technical virtuosity or spellbinding musical features is the effortless, tranquil sweeps that melts the pieces and refine the music into glass.

In the Country are often praised for their perfectly flowing playing, where the instruments and sounds seems to merge. This gives a non-composite, liquid impression and upon this slow flow they can then float small

In addition to 2011’s ‘Sounds and Sights’, In the Country has to date the trio released four albums: ‘This Was The Pace Of My Heartbeat’ (2004), ‘Losing Stones, Collecting Bones’ (2006) and ‘Whiteout’ (2009); all albums released on influential Norwegian label Rune Grammofon.

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