The Land In-Between
Shannon Mowday & Lila
Featuring compositional frameworks that arch and dive, zig-zag and flow, the music can shift between moods in a heartbeat, or engage in prolonged meditations or driven explorations of a theme, all the while offering concrete melodic hooks for the listen to navigate by. Each musician in Lila is given plenty of scope to improvise, and the album features many powerful and inspired solo passages.
Mowday plays all manner of reed instruments, with this recording featuring performances on alto and baritone saxophones and contra-alto clarinet. She conjures fluid lines, nimbly leaping and weaving through the music, regardless of whether she is playing an instrument that lives predominantly in treble or bass. She can happily make her instrument sing, cluck, growl, chitter-chatter or wail as the mood and setting inspires her, always elevating the music as she goes.
Helge Lien's accompaniment and soloing are at the height of their powers here, while Johannes Eick runs the gamut of sonic possibilities with his 6-string bass. Erik Nylander seamlessly moves between expressive punctuation and driving rhythms, carrying pieces along like a freight train one moment, adding sparse but perfect accents the next.
Shannon Mowday has worked with a huge range of large ensembles, including Ensemble Denada, Brazz Brothers, North Sea Bigband, and many more. Originally hailing from South Africa, she permanently moved to Norway in 2009. While working with various ensembles and projects, she has been an educator in South Africa, Australia, America and Norway. She has self-described herself thus: "Artist, performer, composer, director, educator, world connecter, creator and full time mom". In short, an unstoppable force of nature!