Frederiksberg Records / US / 2020
Frederiksberg Records is proud to announce the 40th anniversary LP reissue of Lydglimt, done in close collaboration with Klaus Schønning.
In contrast with the loud musical landscape of jazz, rock and punk, which dominated Denmark in the late 70's, Schønning took a different path. He chose to combine the serenity of nature with futuristic machinery. He bought his first electronic organ at the age of 13 and, guided by his heroes Ray Manzarek and Walter Carlos, was determined to make his own kind of music on electronic instruments. With the introduction of the first Roland synthesizer and a Teac 4-track recorder, Schønning was well- equipped for the task.
In the snowy winter of 1979, the wild-haired Schønning biked around Copenhagen with a box of records to sell. The record, titled Lydglimt (meaning ‘glimpses of sound ́), was the 25-year old’s first solo album. It was recorded in his home studio and privately pressed from his own pocket.
With Lydglimt, Schønning wanted to musically illustrate Denmark’s natural surroundings. The record is therefore separated into two suites, Skoven (the Woods) and Stranden (the Shore), each completed with the addition of field recordings of birds and waves.
One of the secrets to its peculiar sound is the lack of any drum machines. Lydglimt is awash with droning and almost danceable rhythms. Bordering on obsession with doing things his own way, Schønning devised a technique of using white noise and the keyboard itself as a percussion instrument. His aim was to humanize the technology while making the most of his limited means.
After Lydglimt, Schønning continued releasing music, both on his own and on established labels. In 1981, he received a letter from Suzanne Menzel, a fellow musician who heard his music on the radio and proposed a collaboration. The result was Menzel’s sole album release, the privately pressed Goodbyes And Beginnings (previously re-issued on Frederiksberg Records).
40 years since its initial release, Lydglimt has lingered on as an obscure classic, tracing the missing links between the heritage of folk and prog, the ancestry of classic composition and the early promise of electronic music.
With lyrical and symphonic elements mixed with experimental ideas, Lydglimt stands a part as a statement of its time. A precursor of sorts to what later became known as new age music, Schønning has been embraced as a pioneer and Lydglimt has proven itself to be timeless in its appeal.