About this Recording
8.574189 - HERSKEDAL, D.: Behind The Wall (Meland, Robak, Hjertvik)


The music on this recording exudes a warmth and humanity that lifts the spirit at a moment when the threads that bind the communities of our planet are becoming increasingly fragile. Daniel Herskedal has travelled through Syria, Lebanon and Palestine to study and absorb the heritage of a region fractured by conflict, and has created a suite of music that celebrates the depth of ancient traditions, and the sheer resilience and dignity of a people threatened by forces beyond their control. Through the prism of Ramallah, ”Behind the Wall” evokes these traditions in exquisitely crafted music that is steeped in Daniel’s insight into a culture that is far too often misunderstood by many in the West. But this is far away from being a simple political statement—rather, its strength derives from landscapes visited and friendships made, reflected by the music’s lyricism and exuberance.

I first met Daniel some years ago when he was part of Take Five Europe, a project devised to support the careers of emerging artists from the richly diverse European jazz scene. I already knew of his extraordinary instrumental skill, but quickly discovered that he was also a gifted composer whose skills stretch far beyond the familiar perceptions of jazz, with a rare command of chamber and orchestral writing. More important, he delves deep into the inspiration for his music. ”Behind the Wall” is no easy fusion of east and west, but a creative interplay that displays a profound understanding of a very different world than his own—and not just of the music that comes from that world, but of the people he met and shared time with. I heard this music a few years ago, played by Daniel’s own improvising band, with the addition of musicians from the Royal Northern Sinfonia. It’s therefore fascinating to hear it again, in this freshly minted version for a terrific chamber ensemble. As a player, Daniel approaches live performance with a generosity that swiftly draws the audience into his sonic world. As you will hear, this same generosity inhabits his composed music.

Life-enhancing music from a music creator of enduring talent.

Co-founder and director of Serious and the London Jazz Festival, 1986–2019

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