Slow down, says Jonas Colstrup without words in this world premiere video, perfect for the changing of the seasons and years. It’s one of two lead tracks from the upcoming Between sound and silence, which Colstrup describes as “a soundtrack for contemplation and the winter darkness.”
I’m writing this review in the gap between Christmas and the New Year ~ a time in which half of the world speeds up (post-holiday shopping!) and the other slows down (reading, relaxing, spending time with friends). The contrast is palpable. I live in a town of small shoppes, and often delight in the simple pleasure of walking around early in the morning or late at night, when everything is closed. But slowing down is more than this; it’s an invitation to connect to a deeper, spiritual self. The title Between sound and silence intimates a middle ground, known in Buddhism as The Middle Way. The space between sound and silence is akin to that between notes on Colstrup’s piano; we hear what is suggested, barely perceptible yet fully present.
The video, highlighting footage taken by drone over Sri Lanka, proceeds at its own pace. It takes a while to get through the clouds ~ a parable in itself. But soon we realize that the clouds possess their own unique beauty, one that is missed as soon as they are absent. Colstrup’s music recognizes this dichotomy, gently moving between the movement of winter (represented by the flurries of notes on the opening “Flow”) and stasis (the slower unveilings of “Vesterhavet (North Sea)”. By alternating such tracks throughout the album, he invites listeners to contemplate their varied moods, akin to those of winter. To some, winter is freedom and play, to others constriction and sadness. And while Colstrup’s music seldom seems sad (save perhaps for the penultimate “Whale”), it acknowledges the possibility through slower tempos, sparser instrumentation and darker accompaniment on tracks such as the aptly-titled “Transition.” The soupçon of darkness is a minor note, but essential, providing a frozen pole from which to escape.
The culmination of these contemplations is one of peace. As expected, the tempo of the final track is intensely calm, the performer alone alone at his piano. He offers an invitation into another way of life, less hurried and more grateful, rocked neither by news nor by circumstance: an inner light to dispel the shadows of winter. (Richard Allen)
Release date: 15 January
Slow Down Credits
Piano: Jonas Colstrup
Violin: Lisa Vogel
Cello: Josefine Opsahl
Video Editor: Rasmus Steensgaard
Drone: Simon Veitland
Copyright: Mooving Documentary
Color grade: Andreas Birch.