Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"This is it, OK. Have a good time." Goodbye, Lars Hollmer

It is with some sadness that I pass on the news of the passing of Lars Hollmer, a long time friend of RootsWorld, and a regular contributor to our past Free Reed Festivals. Listen to Lars' contribution to one of our festivals, including a little talk about his piece "Sudaf".
So, Lars, "this is it, OK. Have a good time. Goodbye." - CF

Fellow musician Guy Klucevsek sends this tribute to his friend and fellow accordionist/musician.

My dear friend and Accordion Tribe colleague, Lars Hollmer, passed away on Dec. 25, 2008, at the age of 60.

I first heard Lars's music in the early 90s, through singer-songwriter and DJ extraordinaire, David Garland. I instantly recognized a kindred spirit and he was the first person I invited to be a part of what eventually became the Accordion Tribe. We began the group in 1996 and continue to this day, although there will be a gaping void on stage and in our hearts from now on.

Lars was an auto-didact and multi-instrumentalist (accordion, keyboards, voice, melodica, etc.) who was completely fearless in his approach to music. He could be unabashedly sentimental (Boeves Psalm, Soon Song), write incredibly dense and complex counterpoint with the best of them (Pas de Valse, Utflykt med Damcyckle), and be mischievous and joyfully wacked-out (Circus I, II). And that's only the Accordion Tribe repertoire! He managed to record about 30 albums in all, mostly in his legendary home studio, the Chickenhouse, both solo (11), and with his many groups, including The Looping Home Orchestra and Samla Mammas Manna.

What is the common element in all these? To quote Lars from the documentary film, "Accordion Tribe: Music Travels" (Stefan Schwietert, Maximage Films, 2002), "It all begins here," (he says, pointing to his heart); "it may go through here eventually," (he points to his head), "but it all begins with the heart."
- Guy Klucevsek

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