Exercises in Style – No. 96: Bondsk (Paysan). Video.

No. 96 – BONDSK

featuring Magne Storløkken on harmonica.

Magne has been a dear friend of Panzerpappa from the early days, and it’s very exciting to have him as a participant on one of our tunes.

The early sketches for this exercise came about almost by accident. Anders had bought a new acoustic guitar and wanted to try out the open-G tuning favored by many blues and slide guitarists. Playing around with this unfamiliar tuning it was inevitable that he would try to play the main theme from “Stiløvingar” (Exercises in Style).

In the beginning he stumbled and frowned, but slowly everything started to come together. The sound of the guitar with an open-G tuning and how the theme slowly evolved by the new constraints started to bring up images of rural areas of the American South during the great depression: hillbillies, rednecks and barrels and jugs with moonshine.

After a while, Anders realized that this could be a proper part of Stiløvingar and he started to leaf through the book to find an exercise where those particular images could fit. He ended up with “Bondsk”, meaning “country yokel or hillbilly” according to the dictionary (Queneau’s original French exercise is called “Paysan”, but was replaced with “West Indies” in the English translation. The Norwegian interpretation is closer to the original).

He recorded a couple of versions of the rhythm guitar together with fretless bass only a few days later since he wanted to keep the spontaneity of the original approach. This first draft was allowed to ferment slowly for several months, and then in the late autumn of 2021 it was time to distill the mash.

First, some of the original guitars were siphoned, and Jarle added a couple of tracks of banjo, slide guitar and lap steel. The final ingredient that was added to the blend, before mixing and distillation, was no other than Jarle’s father, the incomparable Magne Storløkken, contributing on harmonica.

https://panzerpappa.bandcamp.com/track/bondsk-paysan

Exercises in Style – No. 59: Telegraphic. Music Video.

Torgeirs grandfather, Haakon Sørbye, studied electrical engineering and was a radio amateur. In 1940, in the beginning of WWII, he was recruited as a telegraph operator for the secret intelligence service station in Trondheim, Skylark B.

The station sent three times a week, all in code: military information on troop movements and ship calls, military and merchant vessels and other German activities. He was eventually arrested and sent to several German prison camps.

In Dachau, he managed to assemble a working radio receiver with radio parts that other prisoners had found. Among other things, the radio received Norwegian-language broadcasts from London and the Norwegian prisoners were kept informed about the course of the war in the winter and spring.

After the war, Haakon continued his studies before he worked years developing the radio line production in Norway.

Exercises in Style – No. 59 & 96: Telegraphic & Bondsk (Paysan)

We give you two new Exercises in Style, just in time for the holidays!

No. 59: TELEGRAPHIC

https://panzerpappa.bandcamp.com/…/telegrafisk-telegraphic

Torgeirs grandfather, Haakon Sørbye, studied electrical engineering and was a radio amateur. In 1940, in the beginning of WWII, he was recruited as a telegraph operator for the secret intelligence service station in Trondheim, Skylark B.

Image: Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt (FFI)

The station sent three times a week, all in code: military information on troop movements and ship calls, military and merchant vessels and other German activities. He was eventually arrested and sent to several German prison camps.

In Dachau, he managed to assemble a working radio receiver with radio parts that other prisoners had found. Among other things, the radio received Norwegian-language broadcasts from London and the Norwegian prisoners were kept informed about the course of the war in the winter and spring.

After the war, Haakon continued his studies before he worked years developing the radio line production in Norway.

No. 96 – BONDSK

https://panzerpappa.bandcamp.com/track/bondsk-paysan

featuring Magne Storløkken on harmonica.

Magne has been a dear friend of Panzerpappa from the early days, and it’s very exciting to have him as a participant on one of our tunes.

The early sketches for this exercise came about almost by accident. Anders had bought a new acoustic guitar and wanted to try out the open-G tuning favored by many blues and slide guitarists. Playing around with this unfamiliar tuning it was inevitable that he would try to play the main theme from “Stiløvingar” (Exercises in Style).

In the beginning he stumbled and frowned, but slowly everything started to come together. The sound of the guitar with an open-G tuning and how the theme slowly evolved by the new constraints started to bring up images of rural areas of the American South during the great depression: hillbillies, rednecks and barrels and jugs with moonshine.

After a while, Anders realized that this could be a proper part of Stiløvingar and he started to leaf through the book to find an exercise where those particular images could fit. He ended up with “Bondsk”, meaning “country yokel or hillbilly” according to the dictionary (Queneau’s original French exercise is called “Paysan”, but was replaced with “West Indies” in the English translation. The Norwegian interpretation is closer to the original).

He recorded a couple of versions of the rhythm guitar together with fretless bass only a few days later since he wanted to keep the spontaneity of the original approach. This first draft was allowed to ferment slowly for several months, and then in the late autumn of 2021 it was time to distill the mash.

First, some of the original guitars were siphoned, and Jarle added a couple of tracks of banjo, slide guitar and lap steel. The final ingredient that was added to the blend, before mixing and distillation, was no other than Jarle’s father, the incomparable Magne Storløkken, contributing on harmonica.

Exercises in Style – No. 12 & 92: Hesitation & Modern Style.

𝐓𝐰𝐨 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐞𝐱𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐬𝐭𝐲𝐥𝐞!

Number 92, “Modern Style” is for big band, and number 12, “Hesitation” is for piano, string synth and saxophone.

Check out the videos and buy the songs at Bandcamp!

https://panzerpappa.bandcamp.com/…/stil-vingar…

92: Modern Style

https://youtu.be/H-6_z4IJKmY

12: Nølande (Hesitation)

https://youtu.be/yHUgxQGxID0

Exercises in Style – No. 92: Modern Style. Music Video

92 – Modern Style

performed by The Ett Fett Big Band.

Live at «The Concordia», October 2004.

This variation, written by Jarle back in 2004, takes its inspiration from the 1960s third-stream jazz in general, and Charles Mingus in particular. He set it out for a proper big band (5 saxes, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, piano, guitar, bass, drums), but the problem was finding a band that would be willing to rehearse and record it without any kind of monetary compensation 🙂


Through his long-time friend and bandmate in the jazz quartet Made in Corea, Erik Jøkling, Jarle was connected with Eirik Gaaseide, founder and leader of the Ett Fett Big Band, one of the top semi-professional bands in Norway. They wanted to give it a shot, so on a rainy October day in 2004, Jarle got on a train to Lillestrøm, armed with a full set of parts and a score, an expensive Shure stereo microphone and a portable DAT-recorder.


In three hours, the band rehearsed the piece and recorded four takes. The released version is an edit with the best segments from each of the takes. 


The sound quality is a bit raw, but the performance is great, and on a personal level for Jarle, this particular recording is so special that it just HAD to be a part of the Stiløvingar-project. The reason being that this very session was the start of a long and fruitful collaboration. In the 17 years since this inaugural meeting, Jarle has arranged and conducted several projects with the Ett Fett Big Band – great examples would be: The music of Steely Dan, Gino Vanelli, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Tribal Tech and, in October this year, a project dedicated to the music of Allan Holdsworth. 

Exercises in Style – No. 5: Precision. Music Video.

When arranging the piece, we wanted to create a nagging feeling – almost like the musical variety of putting the finger repeatedly in someone’s chest to make them get the point. We imagined the musical equivalent of insisting, as having no embellishments or expression of musical feeling, only the raw rhythm, melody, and harmony.

Every instrument is electronic – soft synths or hardware synths – and there is almost no dynamic variation. There is also a very dry ambiance so that nothing distracts from the actual sound.

###

The Stiløvingar [Exercises in Style] album is a work in progress and will continue to grow as we compose and record tracks. If you buy the album now you will be informed when new tracks are added to the album as long as you follow us on Bandcamp. We will add a handful of new tracks every now and then.

By 2025 the album will contain 99 tracks, one for each of the exercises in the book Exercises in Style (1947) by Raymond Queneau. In other words, the price you pay is for the full digital album with all 99 tracks.

https://panzerpappa.bandcamp.com/album/stil-vingar-exercises-in-style

Exercises in Style No. 5 & 6: Precision and Narrative

performed by Gunnar Flagstad. Audio & video: Bartosz Sosnowski.

We are proud to present two new chapters in our ongoing grandiose project Stiløvingar [Exercises of Style]: Precision and Narrative.

https://panzerpappa.bandcamp.com/…/stil-vingar…

FORTELJING (NARRATIVE)

Back in 2003, when we were assigning different musical styles to each of the 99 variations in Raymond Quenau’s Exercises In Style, we decided with almost no discussion that no. 16 in the book – Narrative (the Norwegian term is more similar to «story») – should be presented musically as a fugue, preferably one in the style of J.S. Bach.

Looking back, it is now a bit difficult to understand why this seemed so obvious at the time. A sonata or symphony, with their extensive development sections filled with dramatic contrasts, tension, and release, would perhaps be a more obvious choice. But in hindsight, I think we zoomed in on one particular trait of stories, especially short stories, which is character presentation and development.

In music, a fugue is a contrapuntal compositional technique in two or more voices (in our case – three), built on a subject (a short musical theme) that is introduced at the beginning in imitation (repetition at different pitches) and which recurs frequently in the course of the composition (Wikipedia).

The Bach-fugue is structured by functional harmonic principles, with extensive use of modulation, which means that during the course of the fugue, the theme is presented in several different keys, both major and minor, and in all the voices both successively and simultaneously.

So, basically, we start off with our main protagonist (the «I» on the bus), who is 1) witnessing the tall guy with the hat starting a brawl with his fellow passenger, 2) watching him throw himself onto a vacant seat, and then later, 3) observing the same man getting advice concerning the buttoning configuration on his overcoat by a friend. For each of these incidents, the harmonic setting of the theme sort of echoes the observer’s emotional reactions. One could say… 🙂

Or, there’s even a case to be made that the theme in fact represents the tall guy with the hat himself, and the music depicts HIS emotional roller coaster ride through these different encounters.


Anyways, we were incredibly fortunate to get the amazing pianist Gunnar Flagstad to record this one for us. An incredible musician, and for several years head of the piano section at The Norwegian Academy of Music, Gunnar first played with Panzerpappa in 2016 at the release concert for the Pestrottedans-album. He not only contributed a marvelous interpretation of this variation but also organized the shooting of a beautiful music video, courtesy of the extremely gifted Bartosz Sosnowksi (who also recorded the sound). Thank you so much – we are forever grateful!


###

PRESISERANDE (PRECISION)

When arranging this piece, we wanted to create a nagging feeling – almost like the musical variety of putting the finger repeatedly in someone’s chest to make them get the point. We imagined the musical equivalent of insisting, as having no embellishments or expression of musical feeling, only the raw rhythm, melody, and harmony.

Every instrument is electronic – soft synths or hardware synths – and there is almost no dynamic variation. There is also a very dry ambiance so that nothing distracts from the actual sound.


###

The Stiløvingar [Exercises in Style] album is a work in progress and will continue to grow as we compose and record tracks. If you buy the album now you will be informed when new tracks are added to the album as long as you follow us on Bandcamp.

We will add a handful of new tracks every now and then. By 2025 the album will contain 99 tracks, one for each of the exercises in the book Exercises in Style (1947) by Raymond Queneau.

In other words, the price you pay is for the full digital album with all 99 tracks.

https://panzerpappa.bandcamp.com/…/stil-vingar…

Early bird price for a limited time only: 19 Euros.
Regular Price 33 Euros.
Progress: 6 of 99 finished.

https://panzerpappa.com/