LOTTE ANKER - FRED FRITH
July 11, 2010: Sunday in Copenhagen and last day of the annual (ten days long and
intense) Copenhagen Jazz Festival. Today is also the World Cup Final in Johannesburg:
Holland vs Spain. Oppressively hot, thunder in the air.
Fred and I are in the Village Studio a little outside Copenhagen for a session, after having
played a duo concert at CJF a couple of days before.
No predetermined concepts or plans – just playing. Guitar and saxophone: I love playing
with stringed instruments, and especially with Fred's sound(s). It's really easy to
blend with but it can still also be edgy. The energy and the changing worlds and forms
felt extremely clear that afternoon. Landscapes you could easily move in and out
of – slow or with abrupt changes – like in dreams. But real and present. Four hours in
our own timeless bubble. A bubble that was small, but in a way also vast.
Back in the city.
Later that day Marilyn Crispell calls and says she's arranged a Cup Final party in my
apartment (where she is staying) for a few 'homeless' musicians in town in connection
with the CJF: Crispell herself, Gerald Cleaver, Carla Rodea, Okkyung Lee, Michael Formanek
and a couple of Danes. Fred and I join, drinking canned beer and rooting for Spain…
After the match the entire city is partying down.
Many worlds in one day, some of them captured here…
In the last few years I seem to have gravitated every summer to Copenhagen – sometimes
for some teaching at the so-called "rhythm academy" but mostly to work in a
variety of contexts with Lotte Anker, who I've come to consider the musical soul of
We started out in a quartet with Ikue Mori and Sylvie Courvoisier, two old friends who
helped bring us together in the first place, and meanwhile we've played in quite a few
different configurations. These days, though, we mostly work as a duo.
The duo is my favorite form anyway, because it embodies ideas – about meeting, conversing,
challenging each other, changing your mind, not changing your mind, running
together for the fun of it – that are mostly pretty uncomplicated. And I can't think of
many musicians with whom I felt such an immediate rapport as I did the first time
I played with Lotte.
Making music together felt and feels so natural and logical it really does seem as if the
music is simply there, and all we have to do is get out of the way and let it be. Intensely
easy going, obstinately flexible, convolutedly simple, strangely obvious, I can't really
explain it. All I know is, it feels like coming home. No explanation necessary.
Lotte Anker, Fred Frith (Photos: Miriam Nielsen, Heike Liss)