Putting an experimental tag on certain music can quite often be misguiding. Many listeners would associate such a tag with avant-garde improvisations hermetic, and often very patience-demanding music.
Yet, experimental music can take a completely different path. It can be quite melodic, and meditative, not rarely verging on spiritual.
If you want to encounter the latter type of musical exploration, you don’t need to go much further than ‘I Get Along Without You Very Well, by Ellen Arkbro & Johan Graden.
Arkbro is a composer and musician from the Berlin new music scene whose work has been presented around the globe at prestigious institutions such as the Barbican in London, GRM in Paris and the Kölner Philharmonie in Köln. Graden is one of Sweden’s most sought-after pianists, moving freely between classical music and the European contemporary jazz scene. Currently living in Amman, Jordan, he is an active member of the Jordanian experimental pop scene.
And as intriguing as the brief biographical blurbs of these two artists are, the music on this joint effort is more so.
While on the surface the music has an easy, meditative flow, within it, the duo has integrated layered, complex arrangements that expose themselves only through repeated listens, something that is a characteristic of some of the best experimental/jazz/classical artists like Carla Bley or Maria Schneider.
Yet, throughout the album, Arkbro and Graden are taking a very personal path that has resulted in some quite exquisite music.