„Was Marius Neset am Saxofon macht, ist nichts anderes als der Schritt in eine neue Dimension dieses Instruments“ (Süddeutsche Zeitung). Seine überragenden spieltechnischen Fähigkeiten und eine begnadete Improvisationskunst alleine reichen aber nicht aus, um die musikalische Welt des Norwegers zu ergründen, denn Neset ist auch ein geistreicher Komponist und Arrangeur. All dies macht ihn zu einer kompletten Musikerpersönlichkeit und laut des amerikanischen Downbeat zu einer der „aufregendsten Künstler der Jazzwelt“. Ob im Jazzquintett, Big-Band-Format oder mit Kammerorchester, immer wieder vermag es der “Wizard from Os” (Jazznyt, Neset wurde in Os / Hordaland geboren) seine Zuhörer zu überraschen.
Auf „A New Dawn“ hört man Marius Neset nun in Reinform, ganz auf sich allein gestellt, im Dialog mit sich selbst: Saxofon solo. Kompositorische Strukturen werden improvisierend in die Freiheit entlassen. Bedachtsam lotet Neset die klanglichen Möglichkeiten seines Instruments aus. Töne schweben oder tanzen rhythmisch, mal verdichtet Neset, mal gibt er Raum. Sein Saxofon singt, sinniert oder plaudert laut. So entstehen neun Miniaturen von ganz unterschiedlichem Charakter.
„A New Dawn“ ist ein sehr persönliches Album geworden, aufgenommen in der Einsamkeit der Corona-Pandemie. Keine Leistungsschau, sondern Neset wagt eine tiefgründige künstlerische Begegnung mit seinem inneren Selbst. Und ist schließlich damit Ausdruck der schieren Freude am Musizieren…
I have always dreamed of doing a solo album, an album where I am completely alone playing the tenor saxophone with no overdubs or effects, just as pure and honest as it can be. It is an amazing challenge – and also a bit scary: I cannot lean back on a rhythm section or another player, I am completely responsible for every little detail in the music myself.
I have chosen a combination of songs that I have composed during the past few years. Some of them were written for solo saxophone, others for small band, some even for symphony orchestra. What all of these songs have in common is that they were originally composed by me, playing the tenor saxophone, alone. In other words, they all started out as solo saxophone pieces.
When the Covid-19 pandemic made us all isolated and alone, I started to work more and more on these songs, and gradually the idea about making a record became more of a reality. I finally decided to record them in a beautiful-sounding room a few kilometres away from where I live in Oslo. There was something very special about the atmosphere on the day of the recording. It was a beautiful, sunny and very cold winter day, which reminded me of all the good things I have been doing almost every day in the past year: being outside in nature, walking, running, skiing or just being together with my lovely family. I felt inspired, so I just started playing and recording the songs that I felt most like playing at that moment. And this was more or less how I spent the rest of the recording day. I would let the tape run and play what felt most natural to me in the moment. Playing alone also allows you to focus much more on the little details. I played around a lot with different sound colours, for example using quarter-tones, or playing a note very softly with a particular embouchure to produce a very nice little multiphonic sound which would have been scarcely audible if I hadn’t been playing alone.
I also thought as I played about the stories behind many of these songs, and that seemed to make them more relevant to me than ever before. Some of the pieces are not just directly inspired by the many challenges that the world faces today, they also have a story to tell about hope and brighter times to come. I can’t wait to get back to making music with all my friends again, but in the meantime playing alone in my home gives me energy and positivity as we wait for life as we know it gradually to come back, as a new dawn.