Jonas Simonson

Till Tranland ‘To Crane Land’ (2017)

For cranes, “home” can be many places. Cranes move freely between various habitations, much like music has done since time immemorial. Open-minded musicians share their efforts and tunes travel to far corners of the world – migrating for miles along routes both old and new. The same tune can be found where it happens to have touched down in one way or another.

Often, music is assigned a geographical home. But it can be deceptive to talk about a point of origin when it comes to music: Where does music really come from? Where do cranes come from?

This CD features music crafted by men and women from Västergötland, Bohuslän, Dalsland, Stockholm and Dalarna in Sweden, several of whom have migrated across borders themselves, bringing their music, their songs, with them. Played them with fellow musicians from other latitudes, exchanging ideas, thoughts and tunes.

Here, we meet four flexible/open-minded musicians in three duo constellations. Their background, instrument and technique color the way they play, taking wing with experience from previous encounters with masters and fellow musicians.

“Music is like the wind, it comes and goes
It carries us cranes so we may spread news
Everything good, we see
Everything bad, we see
The music tells our tale
We are cranes carried by the wind to spread news”
Paraphrase of Papa Loko, traditional Haitian song

Paraphrase of Papa Loko, traditional Haitian song

Ibykos, from Rhegion, 500 BC, was a Greek lyric poet active at Samos during the reign of Polycrates. Only fragments of his work have been preserved. According to legend – one that inspired Schiller to compose a famous ballad – Ibykos was killed by bandits, but a flock of cranes revealed the crime and the identity of the killers.

Till Tranland – tracklist

1. The cranes of Ibycus (Emma & Jonas)
2. 82:an – Polska efter Åberg och Günther, Grindstad (Mia & Jonas)
3. 85:an – Polska efter Åberg och Günther, Grindstad (Mia & Jonas)
4. Sälgberg – Polska after Maria Sohlberg, Munkedal (Jonas)
5. Bleking Polska after Carl Aron Hakberg, Skövde (Ellika & Jonas)
6. Sexdrega – Bingsjö round trip. Polonaise after Johannes Bryngelsson, Sexdrega and Bingsjöpolskan after Päkkos Gustav, Bingsjö (Ellika & Jonas)
7. Solberg – Polska after Maria Sohlberg, Munkedal (Jonas)
8. Polonaise no. 113/Gärdsjöpolskan – after J. Bryngelsson, Sexdrega and Nils Agenmark, Stockholm (Ellika & Jonas)
9. Polska after Karl Ludvig Magnusson, Nössemark (Mia & Jonas)
10. Polska after Axel Sundström, Mölltorp (Jonas)
11. Polska after Erland Magnusson, Nössemark (Emma & Jonas)
12. Polonaise no. 124 after J. Bryngelsson, Sexdrega (Emma & Jonas)
13. Polska after Niklas Larsson, Svarteborg (Emma & Jonas)
14. Towards Rhegion – Waltz after Petter Carlsson, Ärtemark (Jonas)

Jonas Simonson: transverse flute, alto flute, overtone flute, Norderö flute, Månmarka
Ellika Frisell: violin, viola
Mia Marin: five-stringed violin
Emma Johansson: transverse flute

Recorded in Valltrand Aug 2016, Järpås Stora Bryne Sep 2016 and in Studio Trana in Göteborg Jan 2017.
Mix: Åke Linton
Mastering: Johannes Lundberg, Studio Epidemin
Cover artwork: Eva Karlsson
Cover photo: Monika Manowska
Group photos: Lena Granefelt and Monika Manowska
Translation: Ingrid Eng

DUO GOES THREE. Cranes obviously has a special meaning for Jonas Simonson. One of his bands is called Crane Dance Trio, and now these powerful birds have also been naming a new album. He is also heard in other bands like Groupa and Den Fule, but here he releases his very personal flute act in three different duo constellations. Simonson is a champion of using the flute to get a polish to swing enormously, but can also with the same instrument bring thoughtful, emotional tones. The two songs from Grinstad played in association with Mia Marin on five-string violin are examples of the both.

One of the most beautiful tracks of the record is Sexdrega – Bingsjö, where the alto flute and Ellika Frisell’s deep violin harmony complement each other in a delightful way. The third musician is the traverse flutist Emma Johansson.

Here are also some solo songs, where Jonas plays Overtune Flute and Härjedalspipa, of course with an unmistakably Simonsonian turn and phrase. To Tranland is a very nice musical journey together with one of Sweden’s most personal folk musicians. Rasmus Klockljung

Lira music magazine

Crane Dance (2007)

In 2007, Jonas’ first solo album Crane Dance was released at the upcoming label Nordic Tradition.

On the record there are several old and new playmates. Mats Edén has been playing with Jonas since 1983, when their ways were crossed in the group – Groupa. Guitarist Mattias Pérez complements with his innovative and responsive way of playing. On two infamous tracks, the bassist Johannes Lundberg visits this trio.

Joining the excursion is also the versatile musician Sten Källman. He and Jonas are ?experimenting in percussion and flute sounds on two of Jonas own songs. Among other things, the album is inspired by the dazzling, open-air spectacle, the dance and the cry when the cranes intersect at Hornborgasjön. The album is a journey to these areas in the heart of Västergötland, but also like the flight of Cranes, a longing for the world.

Crane cries, tight trio play, muddy landscapes with bells, drums and a forest of flutes. Jonas own compositions and improvisations are mixed with traditional material from western Sweden.