Jonathan Bäckström Quartet

Jonathan Bäckström Quartet is an acoustic improvising quartet based in Helsinki with members from Finland and Sweden. Bassist/composer Jonathan Bäckström leads the quartet and they are set on a mission to navigate and discover the music that is being created in the moment. The quartet’s expression consists of minimalistic landscapes and explosive, multi-layered free improvisation and is the result of each musician bringing their individual voices to create a strong, collective statement. The group consists of Bäckström, saxophonists Adele Sauros (of Superposition) and Marcus Wärnheim, and drummer Benjamin Nylund – each an active member of the vibrant Nordic scene.

Jonathan Bäckström says: “There are many ways to approach documenting freely improvised music. At the core, this is music best experienced in the presence of now, so documenting this music raises some existential questions. This is a live-group at heart and having done some extensive touring during the last couple of years, I felt it was time to capture the ‘now’ based on our raw live efforts thus far.

Group improvisation is at the centre of our music. Most of the music heard on this album is improvised. One exception is the etude ‘White Like Silver’. While it has a predetermined form, there are still moments of subtle improvisation. Interpretation is key, allowing for micro-improvisations within the written music. This is a common thread throughout my compositions, enabling the performer to be spontaneous in their rendition of the music. Spontaneity is something. “I encourage in all of my compositions. I aim to give the performer the means to make the music their own and not to interrupt it with my own ego.”



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