[ni:d] / nid
There is something about trios. The spare nature of the lineup and the direct connection between the ear and the individual musicians make them attractive to me. These same qualities also make the musicians more attuned to each other, locked in to nuances that might be missed in a larger ensemble, yet offering sonic complexities that might elude the duet or solo performance.
But they are ultimately their own masters. They show an astute understanding of regional folk music, with a particular focus on Värmland and Bohuslän, but they are not chained to the past and are willful in their reinterpretation of the old tunes. They freely mix in the jazz and classical idioms they all have training in, while never remaining true to the folk music, never becoming a fusion. Each tune offers a surprise, be it an unexpected sense of drama or a sudden flight of whimsy. This is all brilliantly expressed in their austere reading of Norwegian fiddler Hans Brimi's "Gammelhussin," where the fiddle and percussion don't so much take alternate lines of the tune as hurl them at one another, each challenging the other to take chances. They follow this with a warm romantic interpretation of the Brimi march "Nävårsetermarsjen" that starts as a slow fiddle solo and then evolves bit by bit into a raucous turn on the American fiddle tune "Blackberry Blossom," punctuated by a brief animated line from "Amazing Grace."
[ni:d] may have complicated their professional lives with their unusual name, (the phonetic of the English word 'need' as well as a reference to a Swedish song style), one that is impossible to file alphabetically. But perhaps that is the point; it is a name to match their equally undefined approach to folk music. As Wiskari explained to me, "Mostly it's about having a need for something - for example, playing music!" - CF
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