A series in which a musician gives us insight into the background of one of their recordings
Swedish saxophonist Hannes Bennich grew up in the countryside outside Norrköping and started playing the saxophone when he was 10 years old. After finishing school he started at Lunnevad Folkhögskola and later on at Skurup Folkhögskola in southern Sweden before ending his education at Malmö Music Academy and soon established himself in the Copenhagen/Malmö region. In 2020 he became member of the Kathrine Windfeld Sextet which has played some of the most prestigious scenes and festivals around Europe.
This track, Non-Religious comes from Hannes’ 2022 debut album When Losing A Dream To Reality from Whirlwind Recordings, ‘with music inspired by both his and others’ dreams. The music represents the anxiety, the beauty, the hope and the disappointment a dream can give you. As soon as a dream is fulfilled you can no longer shape it. The dream is now reality and out of your control. It’s terrifying and beautiful at the same time.’
Non-Religious was first released as a single from the album. ‘Hannes says: “Non-Religious is something I’ve been dealing with my whole life, growing up in a non-religious home but having a lot of religious friends, I’ve seen how beautiful that community can be.” Notes to the album say: “The track is split, beginning with a solo bass intro. that Hannes describes as “a single voice starting a conversation.” Listen to that part here.
‘The main track centres around a compelling motif which is introspective and calming.’ To my ear, Hannes’ saxophone solo is not necessarily calming – we make of it what we will – does it represent the uplifting nature of the religious community Hannes describes or the ambiguity of his non-religious / religious experiences? Listen here.
The personnel on the album are Hannes Bennich (alto saxophone); Britta Virves (piano); Tomas Sjödell (double bass); Emil Norman (drums) and Helen Salim - vocals on track 4). You can sample the whole album here.