Seeking new musical territories is important for Mikael Augustsson.
With his bandoneon and accordion he explores the intrinsic force of music,
and creates a field of tension where the instruments’ timbre and
nature constantly offer new dimensions.
The foundation lies in Argentinian tango. It is there as a part of him after the
time he spent in Buenos Aires. But the music he creates is still unique,
for the influences come from many directions, through both the journeys
he has made and the different constellations of which he has been a part.
Over the years, it has been natural to invite Mikael Augustsson onto many of
the major Swedish and international scenes. He has worked together with artists
like Lena Willemark, Anna Järvinen, Ale Möller, Susana Rinaldi and Julia Zenko.
The list can be made very long indeed!
With his phenomenal virtuosity, his wide-open musical sense and the
bandoneon’s special sound, he has supplied an extra dimension in many contexts:
Stockholm City Theatre’s arrangement of the Master and Margarita,
Blue Tango at the Norrland Opera, the Park Theatre’s presentation of BREL,
the Tales of Hofffman at the Folk Opera, to name just a few.
And the combination of composer and musician is a strength of Mikael Augustsson.
With the bandoneon’s intense and sensual nature and the tango’s suffering heat,
in association with impulses from composers like Stravinsky, Bartók, Debussy
and Morricone, he creates music that is highly personal and unique.
On the record CARNE, he mixes impressions from Miles Davis’s
recording Bitches Brew with elements from
Astor Piazzolla’s Octeto Electronico.
As well as Mikael Augustsson himself, on the bandoneon and accordina,
his group consists of a string of prominent musicians:
Andreas Unge, bass, Johan Lindström, guitar and pedal steel,
Jesper Nordenström, keyboard, and
Jon Fält and Christopher Cantillo, drums.
He has another acclaimed collaboration with Nils Berg, Josef Kallerdahl and
Daniel Bingert in the group DynaMike. Their debut album, National Hymns,
was very well received by critics in Sweden. “But the primary creator of
atmosphere is Augustsson’s bandoneon, and, if you are seeking a more
specific geographical residence for these new self-written ‘national anthems’,
it is, despite everything, the tango’s Argentina,” wrote the leading Swedish national
newspaper, Dagens Nyheter.
The bandoneon is recognized as an instrument that is very hard to play.
“Diabolical, you have to be a bit crazy to take it on,” said Astor Piazzolla,
while at the same time celebrating its melancholy sound.
Mikael Augustsson masters it to the full, as he does the accordion.
He is trained at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and
Conservatorio Nacional Superior De Musica Carlos Buches in Buenos Aires.
With his instruments and his musical imagination, he is continuing on his hunt
for new exciting musical territories to conquer.