Norwegian guitarist and composer Kim Myhr has announced the August 19th, 2022, release of Sympathetic Magic via HUBRO and shared “Up To The Sun Shall Go Your Heartache.” The new track’s title is a line taken from an ancient Indian healing ritual, and the song is “a dream of utopian positivity and ecstatic collectivity”.
It’s a track that the listener can disappear in, very rich in terms of elements present, but less complex formally. The many superimposed tracks of drums and drum machines create a very immersive rhythmic feeling for the listener.
Sympathetic Magic is a follow-up to the 2017 album You | me but is more expansive in terms of collaboration. A broad cast of musicians and instruments (drum machines, vocals, synthesizers, and organs) have created a work of a grander scale. Just before starting working on Sympathetic Magic, Kim bought an old 70s Yamaha organ (the YC45d), after falling in love with the sound of it on different recordings.
Thematically, Sympathetic Magic circles around the “solitary longing for collective bliss and togetherness”. For thirteen months, Myhr worked incessantly on this large-scale 74-minute suite of music. While the world was locked down, thanks to a commission from Oslo Jazz Festival, he had the opportunity to go far into the project, working with the members of the band, one at a time.
This music created a situation of unexpected positivity. It felt like a social project even if I spent most of the time on it alone. All this positive and joyful energy was a quite magical feeling, just arriving out of thin air in this pretty grim situation. The whole thing almost felt like a hallucination; like an imaginary project.
The title of the record is a term coined by James Frazer in The Golden Bough. He writes, “things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed.”
Kim Myhr has been touring internationally since the early 2000s and has released several records under his own name. As a composer, he has made music for Quatuor Bozzini, Australian Art Orchestra, Kitchen Orchestra, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and has collaborated with Jenny Hval, Lasse Marhaug, and many others. He has toured extensively over the last ten years across Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Australia.