Hollmer, Lars - Viandra
Active in music for over 40 years, Lars Hollmer first got together with his friends to play music in late-'60s Sweden. This band eventually became the legendary “Rock In Opposition” band Samla Mammas Manna. Concurrently towards the end of Samla’s original life-span (the band reformed in the 00s and is recording and playing shows again), Lars started a solo career, where he emphasized his very personal compositions and his accordion playing, of which he is a master. Lars’ solo albums have a great warmth, intimacy, and even innocence to them. Although he makes music that can be abrasive and even purposefully a bit demented, with rough textures, quirky instrumentation, and unusual rhythms and time signatures, Hollmer's compositions are mostly tuneful and easy going, sometimes catchy, and often disarmingly lovely.
In addition to Lars’ performance on accordions and keyboards, percussion and vocals, also appearing are Michel Berckmans (Univers Zero) on bassoon, English horn and oboe, Santiago Jimenez on violins and Andreas Tengberg on cello, among others. Despite the many great works in his huge discography (this is his ninth solo album), this release is the first time his solo music has been released in the USA.
"The music on Viandra was recorded and mixed between 2001 and 2007, amidst all the other projects that sent Hollmer packing up his accordion and rushing to the airport for the next flight out of Stockholm. The music itself is as...strangely -- sometimes as magically -- wonderful as anything Hollmer has recorded in his solo career. Lars dominates on keyboards and accordion...while the strings and Berckmans' double reeds are secondarily the most dominant voices...more striking is the mood that he brings to the 16 compositions here; a sense of reflection sometimes touched with melancholy, a side of him sometimes lost in his collaborative projects with others.” – David Lynch/All Music Guide