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SANDELL, STEN: Music Inside the Language (3 CDs in box).
A substantial collection that fails to fit any convenient category. Sandell is a (stretched) pianist/keyboard player and unconventional vocaliser. Highly trained, with a background in contemporary music, he is also an impressive improviser, and these pieces lie across both disciplines: often too organised to be improvised but too unpredictable to be written: the aesthetic is equally ambiguous - though mostly more in the realm of contemporary music than anything else. CD 1 begins with three great piano pieces, leading on to 5 quasi-dramaturgical ‘scenes’ where voices, organ and electronics are added – in a very organised way. CD 2 is in two parts, the first written for piano, contrabass and voices (Sten, Nina and Sofia Jerberg) and the second, shorter piece a duet for piano and guitar (David Stackenas. CD 3 is credited as ‘sounds’ and consists of a very beautiful, and complex and constantly shifting drone, with occasional parallel events. In a small edition, it comes in a box with an explanatory booklet (in Swedish). And it’s impressively cheap.