***All profits from the sale of The Mysterious Transition are donated to fund future Mormorsgruvan Rural Modular Festival events. Won’t you help?***
The Place: Mormorsgruvan
I'd like to tell you that I didn't smile a little inside when I first encountered the place name, Mormorsgruvan, but it would be a lie. As an American It sounded to me like a two-year old imitating a hippie from the 60s. It tickled my inner 12 year old who always wanted to “groove more.” Even now, almost three years since the Mormorsgruvan Rural Modular Festival, a very real and serious thing in a real and wonderful place, I still smile inside when I hear the word. I like words!
As it turns out, I like Mormorsgruvan too, very much.
Breaking it down, in Swedish, “Mormor” means “Grandmother” and “gruvan” means “mine.” Grandmother's Mine.
Mormorsgruvan is in South Central Sweden near Linköping, the home of Saab cars. It is an area that I understand is not well known even to many Swedes. It is a region where green country beauty and cool blue lakes cover a Swiss cheese like Earth where miners have burrowed for centuries.
At Mormorsgruvan they mined Copper.
When I was contacted about performing at the Mormorsgruvan Rural Modular Festival I was surprised, thrilled and worried that I could actually do it. I was walking with a cane due to a recent injury to my right ankle, lacking an active passport, needing to renew my license, and lacking an instrument that I could perform with there.
But earlier in the year I had expressed out loud that I wanted to perform out of the US and I wasn’t about to let any of that stand in the way of my doing so. In my view this was a very important thing to do.
The US State Department was fast with my passport, the California DMV was fast with my license, and I was aggressive with my Physical therapy so that I could make it through the airports carrying my equipment and bag.
An instrument was a different story and not something that I could accomplish alone. I owe a world of gratitude to Laurie Biddulph of Elby Designs for solving that problem for me by amending the Elby Serge modules that I already had with what I needed to do the performance that I envisioned as well as an additional boat and carrying cases. I hope that he is as proud of the performance with his instrument as I am.
Modular synthesis is an international world and a small world. My instrument was made in Australia, shipped to the US and taken to rural Sweden. But it didn’t find itself alone there. I quickly learned that even in a rural mining area a shed or barn could house a studio with plenty of synthesizers including Serge Synthesizers, my modular technology of choice. I felt quickly at home there among my hosts Kalle and Jessica Kallender and our production associate Erik Polder.
The festival started during the day and it was my job, and honor, to bring in the night with my performance.
Imagine the dusk turning to night with these sounds echoing over the mounds of ancient tailings, the holes in the earth that once yielded a wealth of copper, and the whispered stories of those who dug them.
This is what I sent on the breeze into the Swedish night and dedicated to my friend and fellow musical explorer, Will Jackson, who exited this earth on a breeze that night too.
Come with us to experience The Mysterious Transition.
Compositonally, The Mysterious Transition began life in simple terms. It was my intention to weave the sounds of my last two releases, Modular Tonalism and Up From Down, into an approximately 1 hour live performance.
The instrument that I brought to Sweden was built to realize that intention.
The exact patch development and composition happened in Mormorsgruvan in the week and a half before the festival in Kalle Kallandar’s studio.
The performance was designed in six sections that were separated in post production for this recording.
During this time, my friend and Greenpeace pioneer, Will Jackson, was in hospice and I decided that I would dedicate the performance to him. Shortly before going onstage I learned that Will had just passed away and that news heavily colored the performance.
The naming of this release and the titles of the six sections reflect Will’s passing, the mysteries of death, and the transition from light to dark.
Los Gatos, CA
released June 17, 2022
Doug Lynner - Composer/Performer
Kalle Kallander, Jessica Kallander - Festival Producers
Erik Polder - Recorder, Stage Manager
Jessica Kallander - Album Photography