Published May 19, 2019There is something about the balance between easy apprehension and surprise in Norwegian guitarist/composer Kim Myhr's music that delights almost immediately. Drawing from his 2017 album, You / Me, playing with a septet of four guitarists and three drummer/percussionists, the group eased their way through two long pieces with energy and obvious joy.
The first piece, You one would assume, built slowly, led by three percussionists each providing wildly different and atypical strategies, from Ingar Zach smoothing the surface of his massive horizontal bass drum with his hands, to Toma Gouband pummelling his kit with budding tree branches. Eventually, the four guitars found their entry points, and proceeded to ascend with a simple two- or three-chord pattern that always seemed on the verge of, but never actually bursting into, a major chord resolution.
In contrast, the second piece, Me in all likelihood, immediately clicked into a high gear, with all four now-acoustic guitars taking that promised plateau from the first piece and riding it all the way through. The rich resonance from the twelve-strings provided a fertile panorama for the percussionist to add their dizzying number of details. All three played with the invention of master improvisers and the assured timing of jazz professionals, discovering the beat within the beat within the beat, and gently pinning it to the end of a weird little rubber mallet.
It was like hearing a story where the ending really didn´t matter, because you hoped to live in the telling for as long as possible.