Sound: Linda Fredriksson


Posted 2 weeks ago in Music

‘Juniper’ caught me off guard. When I first listened to the record, I had merely anticipated some good jazz. I hadn’t even read the press release. I knew I liked the album cover. However, the utterly transfixing kaleidoscopic sonic tapestry that issued from my speakers interrupted the remaining thirty seven minutes of my day. The album is a dextrous and emotive journey, a fuchsia treat for synesthetes. A still dim-lit Friday morning found Linda Fredriksson good naturedly humoring me from Helsinki.

 

So this is your first time playing in Ireland?

I’ve played there I think three times before, with other projects, and obviously on holiday, but only with other projects. Not with ‘Juniper’, so this will be the Irish debut of that material.

 

Can you tell me about how you came to jazz? 

I suppose it’s a bit because of the instrument, things the teachers introduced me to like John Coltrane, Keith Jarret or Jan Garbarek. I’ve always loved to listen to music. It’s long been a way to escape everything. It was my own safe world. I would listen to Michael Jackson and Spice Girls at the same time as Coltrane. I don’t listen to jazz so much. There’s a lot of albums I really like, but I spend my time listening to a lot of singer songwriters, and old Motown stuff.

 

That’s one thing I had read about the album. That it’s a singer songwriter album that just happens to be in a jazz format.

When I started working on the album I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I just started to make songs, to see what would happen. Looking back at it now, I really didn’t have any idea. I just started to look for something of my own. I would play piano and sing, or play guitar, and make these small demos that would have the right feeling. I would take those and start to work with the band.

After the recording, I had a really long post production period where I would combine the old demos with the things we recorded in the studio.

 

That’s an unusual step. 

I was always really mean about the demos, I was underrating them, not appreciating the information that was there. After the studio session, through the producers and people around me telling me “Linda, there’s something important here. The mood and feeling.” So I really started to look for a way to incorporate the crappy homemade stuff into the proper recordings, to keep the original feeling and original story.

 

And how did you go about making those very different sounding things work together?

A lot of editing and patience. Luckily, we tracked the band parts in the studio separately,  so I was able to play around with the tracks. Cut them, slow things down, pitch them up, and really work to use all of the material that I had. There was a lot of working through things with the producer, doing a lot of recordings over, building the album piece by piece.

 

It’s incredible that you were so involved in that side of the process.

It was nice because I had spent so much time on other projects when we were recording watching people do this. Asking them to “cut from here” or make parts louder.  This frustrating feeling of sitting next to someone and not knowing how to do something yourself, so throughout this process I really learned how to use recording equipment and software. That was also why the process was so slow, because I was determined to learn to do it myself. Gain a little more independence. In recording ‘Juniper’, it was a lot about sharing with select people, but also a lot about me learning to do things myself and having my own voice, and having that conversation with myself.

Linda Fredriksson and their band will be performing Juniper at The Sugar Club Dublin on June 11th, and selected dates round Ireland until June 15th. See musicnetwork.ie.

Juniper is available now on all streaming platforms and through We Jazz Records.

lindafredrikssonmusic.com

Words: Adhamh Ó Caoimh

Image: Iiris Heikka

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