Then/Now

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THE ENTIRE ALBUM IS RELEASED ON MUSIC STREAMING SERVICES ON NOV. 5, 2021 – AND SINGLES ARE DUE AUG. 5. (URO I SEPTEMBER), SEPT. 17. (DELTA), AND OCT. 15 (ALPHA)

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About the recording

Remind (verb)—to make someone think of something they have forgotten or might have forgotten

I’ve been creating music since my early adolescence, music that was meaningful to me in the moment. And usually, this output led the way to the next project without much advance thinking or consideration of the “right” or “proper” direction to take. That’s the way creativity works, in my opinion. You do things, and at some point, if you—or someone else—look back, it may be possible to see certain trends or patterns that you may not have been aware of in the moment. However, information about past achievements is of no practical use when one is actually creating.

When creating and recording Then/Now, my compositional approach began a bit differently than that just described. This may be due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, to my spending more time at home, and to the recollection of an interview with the great Danish classical composer, Bent Sørensen. He mentioned that sometimes when he felt stuck, he would revisit his earlier scores, to see whether there were musical elements or ideas he had somehow discarded too soon, and that could be developed further.

The question is, did I do what Bent Sørensen suggests? Yes, in a certain sense—or at least, I tried! I did not make a point of listening to my earlier recordings.  However, I did consider the pattern that ran through my previous work. This included a definite attraction to, and focus on, melody and harmonic details. I would also add rhythm, improvisation, and, I might say, a somewhat “pure” quality, at times. In my opinion, these ingredients are always present in my work, and the various releases have different emphases.

So, the starting point for this release was a further investigation of the musical direction of Heart Tunes (2019). But the music itself soon took over, and determined another direction, one that, if anything, may be seen as a continuation of Oktober (2006) and Penelope (2007). Given this direction, it seemed natural to include previous Argentinian collaborators: Ernesto Snajer, guitar, and Tiki Cantatero, percussion, from Tangofied II (2014), and pianist Dario Eskenazi from Brazilian Heart (1998). Also involved were my current acoustic band, The Tangofied Ensemble,  vocalist Sophie Ziedoy, and internationally-renowned film director Søren Kragh-Jacobsen, who sang one song, and contributed the beautiful lyrics.

To summarize, and return to the opening statement: Was I reminded of something while creating Then/Now? Well, yes, but music has its own unpredictable ways, and a beauty that may become evident to us, which is truly astonishing. It is as awake as you are! 

I hope the music of Then/Now will also find you awake.

Credits

With the special participation of Søren Kragh-Jacobsen.

  • Anders Banke—bass clarinet, alto flute (tracks 1–8)
  • Mariano Tiki Cantero—percussion (tracks 1, 3, 6, 8)
  • Dario Eskenazi—piano (tracks 1, 3, 5, 6, 8)
  • Søren Kragh-Jacobsen—vocal (track 2)
  • Ida Nørholm—cello (tracks 2, 4, 5, 7)
  • Alejandro Sancho—acoustic guitar (tracks 2, 4, 5, 7)
  • Ernesto Snajer—acoustic and electric guitar, charango (tracks 1, 3, 6, 8)
  • Sophie Ziedoy—vocal (tracks 1, 2)
  • Torben Westergaard—bass, voice, keyboard (tracks 1–8)

“Jacob” was composed in memory of our late friend, the great Danish percussionist, Jacob Andersen (1960–2021).

All music by Torben Westergaard, except Uro I September, by Søren Kragh-Jacobsen/Torben Westergaard.

Recorded May, 2021at Heyman Studios (DK), Millfactory Studios (DK) and winter/spring at Myogen Productions (DK), Camaradaland (ARG) and Darioland (US).

Mixed by Boe Larsen, Millfactory Studios (DK).
Mastered by Brian Mørk Hansen, BMH Lydproduktion (DK).Cover design by Bønnelycke MDD. 

Label and catalog number: TWMUSIC019

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Released with support from Danish Conductors Association and Koda Kultur.