What Happened to »Availability 4«?
A question posed about Caravan to the suns lost track
On the international Piano Day, the international improvisation duo Caravan to the sun release three new tracks, called »Availability 2,3 &5«. With »Availability 1« already published last year, there is only one question that needs to be answered: What Happened to »Availability 4«?. Profet’s Chief Ideologue Filip Lindström ponders the question in this improvised article about improvisation.
Artwork by Lina Westin
Caravan to the sun is as improvised as a musical constellation can be. Swedish pianist Mats Björke, formerly the keyboard player in Mando Diao, and James Bush, a cello player from New Zeeland, met during the celebration of a wedding outside of Berlin where they played together for the first time in the hazy wee hours of the night. They found something in each other that they hadn’t experienced, either in a long time or ever before. As Mats Björke puts it »It was such a great relief«. What Mats saw as relieving was daring to leave the boundaries of musical structure, the boundaries he had limited himself with by learning everything there is to know about music. Knowledge can only take you to a certain place in music, and the step beyond that is for you to take. Without the knowledge backing you, it won’t be possible, but without that step sooner or later all the knowledge will serve no purpose.
What eventually became Caravan to the sun, after Mats and James’ bonding at the wedding in Germany, are sessions where the two can truly let go of what they know to be right. In the sessions, there is only the piano and the cello, giving way for the musicians’ every whim. The result of one of these sessions is four tracks, all called »Availability« and marked with a number after the word. If we as an audience allow ourselves to listen freely to the tracks that derived from the session, I think we can see straight into the personal universes of these two persons. They don’t strike me as musicians really, rather vehicles that enable these pieces of music to be heard. I can only assume that the shared title of the tracks refers to the level of emotional availability that the creator’s found at the point of recording them.
Caravan to the sun
In writing, or at least in my writing, there is nothing but improvising. All the knowledge I’ve gathered is from the writing itself, or the theft of the style of my idols. The pieces I write for Profet are merely taken from the moment, stirred up in conversation with my emotions. My words are Mats and James’ notes, my step away from structures that confine more than they add value.
»Availability 1« came out last year, and now the rest of the same session is released through Mats’ Berlin based music company Lab259. To say »the rest of the session« is not entirely correct though, there is still one piece (if not more) missing. Today, on international Piano Day (29th of March, the 88th day of the year, pointing at the 88 keys of a piano) »Availability 2, 3 & 5« are revealed. So, what in the world has happened to part 4? Was part 4 too personal to be shared? Maybe something happened on part 4 that Mats and James still haven’t come to terms with? Whatever the reason, the question still remains: Why is »Availability 4« not available for me?