Hollmer, Lars - With Floury Hand (Sketches),
Lars Hollmer was a Swedish composer, accordionist and keyboardist who first came to prominence with his RIO band Samla Mammas Manna in the 70s and into the 80s. He also performed with other bands as well as having his own solo career, exploring what could be done with a piano accordion in modern music. Towards the end of working on the album ‘Viandra’ he started talking about releasing an album that would be full of weird ideas and strange songs, and he started looking back through his archives to see what he could use for that purpose. However, in May 2008 he was diagnosed with severe lung cancer, from which he succumbed at Christmas of the same year - he was just 60 years old.
In Autumn 2009 his son Gabriel started working through the hours of music that Lars had put aside for the project, and this is the end result. As Gabriel says, “It is a mix of more or less unfinished songs and sketches that I love. It is full of wild and crazy ideas and antics, pieces of utter frivolity, but equally places full of delicate beauty. This is music straight from the heart. Just like how my father was.” It is certainly a very strange ride, with beautiful numbers against some which are erratic and hard to listen to – it is certainly not easy listening but eventually the listener is rewarded by visiting places within a musical repertoire that are far from the beaten path. It certainly shows that the accordion should hold a much more important place in music than many would imagine.
I was provided with this CD as a download by the record label, but it is worth noting that the physical version comes with a 45 minute DVD of a 2005 performance at the Gouveia Art Rock Festival in Portugal which is the only professional video footage ever released of Lars. For more details visit http://www.cuneiformrecords.com.