"On a peaceful summer evening in 2002 in the small village of Brösarp in Scania, twelve two- and three-cylinder tractors from the 1950s and 60s were positioned in a semi-circle at a fruit plantation and the sounds of bells ringing can be heard. Before an enthusiastic audience of 1000, the old tractors started their engines and pressed the gas pedals while idling. They raced, purred, played, and sang in the sunset. The landscape in Brösarp is a cultural landscape. With plow, horse, and tractor, it has been created by people. The efforts of generations can be read therein. A cultural landscape is a narrative of the work of people, of their villages and material conditions. Forty and fifty years old, the tractors in Johansson's work are already stories in themselves, and the audience gazes on this evening over a landscape that will soon be a sparsely populated area where not a tractor plows and not a cow grazes. One could thus experience the tractor concert as requiem and lament for a region on its way to disappearing. The tractors sing of a time that has escaped. But if there is no memory, then there is no future. As such, the Konzert für 12 Traktoren is also a work as laudation of work. By the way: if you project a Nuffield 342 faster than light, your vision goes black." --- Tractor drivers: Erland JosefssonKlas BerndtssonLars-Erik OlssonSimon NeumerMagnus HildessonUlf OlssonAnderz ErlandsonPeo LarssonMorgan OlssonChrister OlssonJenny OlssonBo Isaksson -- 12 "Zetor" tractors directed by Sven-Åke Johansson Recorded by Mikael Forsman, Orust, Sweden, 2009.

Sven-Ake Johansson – Konzert für 12 Traktoren

"There is complexity in simplicity, and Sparrow Nights is Peter Brötzmann and Heather Leigh's most enduring record to date, and their first studio album. A series of emotionally rich and boldly elucidated tonal and timbral exchanges played like compositions on pedal steel and reeds, the tracks (released as a 6 track LP and 10 track CD) are cold-forged minimalist blues motifs dragged from instrumental laments.   After three years playing together Brötzmann/Leigh's connection and understanding is by now both cerebral and deeply invested in the physical and sensory possibilities of their combined sound, while retaining a melancholic distance. Within this duo there is fluidity – neither is the anchor – and these recordings sound with as much variety as the sea. At times Sparrow Nights carries the clarity and poeticism of still water and open horizon ("This Word Love"), and at others it contains the elemental and ferocious roar of white water breakers on black rocks ("This Time Around").     On their previous three live albums (Ears Are Filled With Wonder, Sex Tape, Crowmoon) the duo have developed an intimate and intense language that manifests here as a focus on power and control, where figures blasted of unnecessary decoration are drawn from the shadows and smoke of collapse. The studio setting also allows Brötzmann to bring a broader range of reeds than in live scenarios: where previously he has played primarily tenor, clarinet and tarogato with Leigh, here he delivers the heat of alto and the low pressure of bass saxophone and clarinet.  Brötzmann’s duo with Leigh continues to trace a fresh new arc in his trajectory, and this release also falls at a time when Leigh releases Throne, her most song-based record to date. Here as a studio duo they play a new-old blues for times of complexity, noise and chaos, continuing to redefine and re-sound possibilities for improvised music."   

Peter Brötzmann / Heather Leigh – Sparrow Nights