We’ve been enjoying the piano music of Norwegian player Kjetil Jerve for many years, in the context of the lively free jazz combo Lana Trio, the lovely Eparg album by Orter, and more recently on the Neptun album by Akmee, released in 2017. I’ve tended to categorise his music in the “jazz” genre, though today’s release The Soundtrack Of My Home (DUGNAD DUG030) doesn’t really fit the profile. It’s much more of an intimate and personal statement – his jazz music has tended to be very upbeat and springy, where this chamber music is quite indoorsy, reflective, and tinged with melancholy. Stylistically, one could indeed find traces of “rhythmic ambient, lo-fi and minimalist pop”, as the press notes have it, in these contemplative clusters.
The story of it is that Kjetil Jerve found himself engaging with social media in 2019, and using the hashtag #dailypiano he published small segments of his music on the Instagram platform, a locale more usually associated with sharing photos and drawings as far as I know, but until Twitter figure out a way to stream audio I guess that’s what there is. Presumably, today’s album – released on Jerve’s own imprint – grew out of this drip-feeding process, to grow into a set of 10 exquisite instrumental miniatures which he recorded in 2020 at his home in Holmia, reflecting the same method of highly melodic improvisation as the Instragram moments. There’s also a personal dimension, to do with the musician’s married life and his family, and his own family tree.
All of this produces a wistful mood, summoned through very approachable music, where not only is the melodic aspect promoted but there are many user-friendly repeating patterns and simple shapes, all generating more harmonic content than you can handle. Very enjoyable, warm and emotional music. From 1st December 2020.