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Karl-Martin Almqvist Ababhemu Quartet - The Travelers | CD

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4 Panel Digipak

Ikaya. Home.

With what density does the earth carry us? With which note? Readily recognizable.

The resonance as our feet touch the ground, the prints we leave behind.
What note calls to you?

The porous limestone, resilient, springy underfoot, the chord of the earth resounds through me.

I hear its echo unclothed in Karl-Martin Almqvist’s reed, the seasons’ gaze in Nduduzo Makhathini’s touch of the keys.

They carry the dreamy rest of deep forests, the neon lights of a sleepless, unsedated city, a chord that moves upwards through the architecture. In this movement, Värmland aligns with Johannesburg, Stockholm with New York, and that renovated barn where I first heard Karl- Martin play.
I recognized that voice.

As you will recognize it through the music Karl-Martin Almqvist wrote for the Ababhemu Quartet: pianist Nduduzo Makhathini, drummer Ayanda Sikade and bassist Magne Thormodsæter.

The presence and honesty in asking new questions. Striving to find the road less travelled. This is the road of voices we have not yet heard. Music sprung from a modal tradition. Folk. Church. Freedom.

The resonance of footsteps.

A lightness towards being, a weightlessness of care for the other. Voices building a home where they meet for supper:

Coltrane, Mankunku, Gullin, Jan Johansson, Börje Fredriksson, Abdullah Ibrahim.

When darkness falls, and rests upon the quartet, it breathes spirit into Smangaliso – a song of the child as miracle, Ubizo - of music as calling. Ababhemu - of legend as keeper.

”I am because you are”. The radical mutuality of Ntu, the philosophy of the human condition.

”I am because you are”. Music as an expression of a deeper connection.

A communion resting on grounds, stretching beyond. Where earth is dreaming us, like the day carries echoes of those that walked before.

Those who built their nests of cymbals. Those who breathe the bass lines.

Resting like a shadowy spirit in Almqvist and Makhathini. Children of the collective unconscious.

Home. Ikaya.

Magnus Östnäs


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