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Pandemic Respite

by Jonny Axelsson

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  • USB Flash Drive + Digital Album

    A custom made USB flash drive loaded with 24bit and 16bit audio files, a pdf booklet with texts about the works, the composers and more, in English and in Swedish. There are 11 audio tracks with music composed by Kevin Volans, Erik Bünger Jenny Hettne, Jonny Axelsson and Johann Sebastian Bach.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Pandemic Respite via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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Pandemic Respite

The start of the year 2020 began just as usual. In Stockholm, the days were short, very dark, cold and snowy. The concert productions rolled on as usual. I had quite a few booked performances for the rest of the year. In the media reports began to appear from China and later from Italy, about a virus that was named Covid 19. During February, restrictions were introduced in Sweden in connection with concerts and performances and in March all public activities on stages in the country ceased. My last concert was on March 20, without a live audience in front of me, just video streaming on internet. I realised that it will probably be a long time before business returns to something resembling “normal”. I asked myself: what do I do now?
The musicians at the Stockholm Opera were at home and were bored. They received full salaries but had no productions at all, they had only to keep their practice going as good as they could. Other orchestras in the country had smaller productions that could be followed through streaming. The support system for freelancers during the pandemic felt rather ill-conceived, with some receiving very little support while some wealthy pop stars received large sums. It was up to each person to resolve their situation on their own.
For my part, I continued to practice, but soon I realised that I needed playing goals similar to that required in concerts. I started recording both earlier works that I have not played in many years as well as new repertoire. My good friend and composer Kevin Volans sent me a new composition, probably as an encouragement to keep practicing and playing. I also resumed working on some earlier recording projects and eventually realised that I was on the way to create a new album.
This forced break from concert activities was not only negative for me. The time pressure that often occurs as a freelance musician was gone too. I experienced again a situation similar to the one I had during my studies and early career, when there was more time for interpretation and general practice.
As this pandemic went on, I became aware of how important it was for me to continue making music and recording. When I went into my studio and played, I could let the pandemic go, stop reading statistics and graphs on the internet about the number of sick and infected. Sad news came daily about dead people but I could at least temporarily get respite from that through music and my playing. Now that this album is ready it feels so logical that it should be named with what has been the main theme during the process: Pandemic Respite. The music has a wide range with works by Kevin Volans, Jenny Hettne, Erik Bünger, Johann Sebastian Bach and myself. I would like to recommend to listen to the album in the order in which the works are placed. Together, they create a wholeness that gives another dimension to the listening. It is in times like the pandemic that it is even more evident the importance of getting involved in artistic expressions that leed your thoughts and focus somewhere else. It was so for me, and perhaps it is like that for you as well.
Jonny Axelsson


released December 22, 2022

Special thanks to: Elena Carlini, Nikolai Lindberg Petef, Jenny Hettne, Erik Bünger, Kevin Volans and Morten Bastrup.


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Jonny Axelsson Stockholm, Sweden

As a composer JA received commissions from various ensembles, choreographers, filmmakers, institutions. Member of the Swedish Composers Association, he achieved great recognition as a percussionist, performing all over the world and featured on numerous CDs. Experienced interpreter and improviser he developed his own “musical voice” with great esthetical width and influences from several genres. ... more

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