We regularly get people’s questions about what to expect while seeing and listening to the Suite. Seeing is easy. 18 exceptionally good and passionate musicians, 2 fantastic female singers and 2 great male singers working on their passion, making music. Furthermore, there are winter images of the beautiful hamlet of Hållsta. That answer often does not feel satisfactory. People want to know what to imagine in a one-hour suite.
First of all, forget the agreement with a classic suite. The classical suite satisfies all rules regarding the type of dances that has to be performed at what time. This jazzsuite does not look like that. With the word suite you have to think about eg. the parallel with a software suite, if you switch from one program to another, where all data remains available in the different program environments. The data can be influenced in one environment, which in turn has consequences for the other. Or a suite house, where you walk directly into the living room from the kitchen, and then back again, but then through the dining room. Always a different reciprocal environment.
The Hållsta Suite describes the story and the development of a Burn Out. Each of the 4 parts describes a stage of the disease. Starting with the doubts about functioning (No-one Will Hear This Song) sliding in part 2 to panic and losing grip (It Slips Away). The third part describes the long road to recovery, the time it takes to look at the world differently (Patience). Without a clear moment in the suite we end up in part 4, where there is recovery, but with a noticeable difference with regard to life before the burn out (Survive Another Day). The beauty of the chosen form is that themes such as self-assurance, fear, love, occur naturally in all four parts, but because of the color of the surroundings of each of the parts it is sometimes not or hardly recognizable as such.
Because the composer writes assosiatively, he has added typical metaphors to this whole story in order to further channel the inspiration for writing. The extreme winter of Hållsta, a village just below the Arctic Circle was often a model for the choices that were made. The composer could be, for example, inspired by never freezing moving water. Birds that thereby stay alive. The oases of heat in a hostile cold environment. But also the enormous transformation of the clutter of freshly harvested forest, to the tight beauty of the same area under a thick layer of snow.
And, less romantic, the composer naturally has to take into account the big band idiom, the qualities of Stageband Jazz Orchestra and the elasticity of rhythms and harmonies. Of course looking for edges, but also very emphatically on the tradition. The suite form enables the composer to write very spherical phrases, in which the multicolored nature of a modern big band comes into its own.
Hopefully this story will strengthen everyone’s curiosity, so that we will be able to welcome a large audience during the four concerts. Because music is only music when someone hears it.