Anders Koppel and Henrik Dam Thomsen release new duo album
The album Still Life features 15 pieces of music in which Anders Koppel’s iconic Hammond organ meets Henrik Dam Thomsen’s cello from 1680.
The Danish veteran composer and Hammond organist Anders Koppel (b. 1947), together with the cellist Henrik Dam Thomsen (b. 1973), have formed an effervescent, creative musical duo. On 11 September their first album, Still Life, is to be released.
A well-known instrument in Danish musical life
In 1970 Anders Koppel bought a Hammond organ – model B3. And precisely that organ is perhaps one of the best-known instruments in Danish musical life, for the endlessly creative Anders Koppel has play on that self-same instrument ever since. Koppel has used the Hammond organ in every conceivable genre, from jazz to world music and classical works – and, of course, as a member of Savage Rose.
‘People often ask me if it’s the same organ I played ‘The Triumph of Death’ on – and it is. It’s had its 50th anniversary on the road with me,’ Anders Koppel relates.
And it is also the Hammond organ one can hear on the new release Still Life, where it is accompanied by a cello.
Duo between composition and improvisation
One of the musicians, Koppel has a long musical friendship with is Henrik Dam Thomsen, who is solo cellist in The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and an experienced chamber musician.
The two of them started to play tougher in the 1990s in various contexts, and Anders Koppel has composed various pieces for Henrik Dam Thomsen over the years. In 2019, the time had come to cultivate an exclusive duo collaboration – and the first documentation of this is now here with the release of Still Life.
The music on Still Life has compositions by Koppel as its starting point, written down in musical notation for the two instruments. The arrangements, the duo have developed together, and in doing so allowed plenty of room for improvisation. The borderline between improvisation and composition is a fluid one, and the two instruments assume different roles alternately in the music.
Koppel’s Hammond organ from 1970 and Thomsen’s cello from 1680 weave their way through a host of genres, with features deriving from Balkan music, tango, jazz and Baroque music.
‘And we have actually only just begun our duo collaboration,’ Henrik Dam Thomsen says. ‘There is still so much we still want to try out.’
Release concert in Solbjerg Church
The release is being celebrated by a concert in Solbjerg Church on Sunday 4 October at 15.00. Here Anders Koppel and Henrik Dam Thomsen will play works from their new release, and afterwards Dacapo invites you to a release reception.
There is no admission charge to the concert. Please note that because of the present Corona situation there will only be a highly restricted number of places available in the church. This will be filled using the ‘first come, first served’ principle, and it is not possible to reserve a place in advance.