Four years after her major label debut album Smiling and Waving, Anja Garbarek (daughter of legendary jazz saxophonist Jan Garbarek) returns with the unpredictable Briefly Shaking.
Garbarek creates what she calls “sound pictures with words” in Briefly Shaking which is her most commercial release to date. Drums are absent in her last release, but provide a focal point in the latest release and perhaps a respite from the bleak subject matter.
The track “Sleep” was inspired by the true story of a woman who was kidnapped and held in an underground bunker. Serial killer Dennis Nielson provided inspiration for the track “Can I Keep Him.”
It’s an intensely personal release. After a brief stint in London, Garbarek moved back to her native Norway to have a baby with husband John Mallison and document that experience in her music.
“Having a child was wonderful, but it changes your life,” she says. “You can’t be so self-centred any more and as an artist that affects your creative core. I felt my creativity was being suppressed. You lose yourself when you give birth. It turns your life upside down and it’s fantastic, but it’s frightening at the same time.”
Briefly Shaking is introspective with a few nice surprises, but it’s not for the faint-hearted.
- Photo courtesy Bjorn Opsahl.