14 years after Esbjörn Svensson’s death in a drowning accident in 2008, the pianist and composer debuts as a solo artist with previously unreleased music. A complete album has been discovered and is being played in front of an audience for the first time at Sven-Harry’s Art Museum.Published: September 13, 2022, 9:24 p.mThe album is called “Home.s” and it will be different concerts given during four evenings, Thursday-Sunday, this week at Sven-Harrys in Vasaparken in Stockholm, without musicians on stage, but with sound and lighting techniques that create a unique experience at the moment. “Sven-Harry’s Art Museum should be a place for experiences that surprise. We move between art, design and other kinds of experiences,” says Dragana Kusoffsky Maksimović, museum director at Sven-Harrys. “This is not ‘now we squeeze something in with a shoe horn’, “Home.s” is as important as anything other in our exhibition program.”The name “Home.s” refers to the fact that the album contains music that Esbjörn Svensson recorded at home, recordings that were discovered much later in the home where he lived with his wife Eva Svensson and two sons. The letter si at the end after a period alludes to the initials in Esbjörn Svensson’s name and that his jazz trio was internationally known under the abbreviation est. Incidentally, these are also the initials of Eva Svensson, initiator and project manager of “Home.s”.“When Esbjörn died I got help from the trio’s sound engineer Åke Linton to save the music that was on Esbjörn’s computer onto a hard drive, in order to secure the material. But we never went through the content then. In the urgent situation that prevailed, there was no priority. Then the hard drive ended up in a closet,” she says and explains why the release was delayed. “It takes a long time to rebuild life when something like this happens and you have a family and two children. But in the end I felt that we had to investigate what was on the hard drive, so I took it with me and went to Gothenburg, to Åke Linton. When we started it in his studio, everything just opened up, there were nine tracks, nine pearls like on a string of pearls, which are now being released in exactly the order we found them, about 40 minutes of music.”Four concerts of newly discovered solo music by Esbjörn Svensson. Photo: Joey AbraitThe recordings are made one shortly before Esbjörn Svensson’s death on June 14, 2008, at home in the basement of the villa in the Stockholm suburb of Enskede. No one except those who worked on the project, a handful of people, has heard the music, not even the former members of Esbjörn Svensson Trio, childhood friend Magnus Öström (drums) and Dan Berglund (bass). “Åke Linton thought the sound quality of the recording was so good that he was a little puzzled as to whether it was really done at our house,” says Eva Svensson. “Many people have asked if I didn’t know that Esbjörn recorded the music, but he was working even in his studio in the basement. I didn’t think much of it. It was not possible to hear if it was music for the trio he worked with or if it was intended for solo piano.” The four concerts at Sven-Harry’s are a kind of preview, the album (vinyl, CD and streaming) will not be released until November 18 on the German label ACT, which also released Esbjörn Svensson Trio’s music. In connection with that, a concert is also given in Germany.In connection with the disc release is visualizing the music for an online event, “Home.s in Universe”, on the short film platform Shortly.film. In addition, there will be a book this spring, “Universe Esbjörn Svensson”, which will be the fourth and final part of the project. “It will be a biography, though not in text but in pictures. It will tell about the man and the musician Esbjörn Svensson in photos, notes, sheet music and other things,” says Eva Svensson. When the book comes out, 15 years have passed since Esbjörn Svensson died. “In a way, it’s lucky that a long time has passed, because this grieving process has had its function. For me, this is not a sad project but more like a joint project and a continuation of what Esbjörn created.”
Lived 1964-2008. Is best known for the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, formed in 1993, Sweden’s internationally most successful jazz group of all time. During their 15 years, the group released 13 albums and toured all over the world. Their last album was recorded in Sydney, Australia and their last concert was given in Moscow. “est live in Hamburg” (2007) was named the best jazz record of the decade by the British newspaper The Times. After Esbjörn Svensson’s death, two previously unreleased live recordings have been released, “est live in London” (2018) and “est live in Gothenburg” (2019).