Ice Breaking
Dag Arnesen’s musical journey began with classical piano training, drawing inspiration from beautiful Bergen's own legacy in music, particularly through composer/pianists like Edvard Grieg.
Ice Breaking is an album where Dag not only breaks the frozen barriers of convention but also delivers a fresh cascade of musical expression with listeners invited to traverse the landscapes of his creativity. With all but two tracks freshly penned, the album serves as a testament to his enduring commitment to pushing the boundaries of his craft and his evolution as both performer and composer.
Dag feels that whereas melodies have traditionally been a focal point of his work, he embraces a more eclectic approach on this album, allowing rhythm and harmony to take centre stage in certain pieces. Tracks like
A New One highlight his melodic sensibilities, while After Dinner shifts the focus to intricate chord progressions, showcasing the depth of his compositional prowess.
In a nod to his personal life, Dag pays tribute to his feline companion with
Sarah, a charming composition dedicated to his beloved cat. Dag says: “…our family cats are always gifted with a personalised composition”.
Bim Bam Bom, a piece conceived four decades ago under the influence of Miles Davis, finds new life in the trio setting, offering a nostalgic glimpse into Arnesen's musical roots.
A Special Memory, composed two decades ago, serves as a poignant reminder of the elusive nature of inspiration, as Dag humorously admits to forgetting the memory that inspired the composition.
Closing the album is
That's OK, a reflection on self-doubt and resilience. Despite his initial uncertainty about the song's merit, Dag ultimately embraces its inherent worth, delivering a message of self-assurance and acceptance.
Ice Breaking, Dag Arnesen invites listeners on a sonic odyssey. From introspective ballads to upbeat rhythms, each track offers a glimpse into his ever-evolving musical universe, leaving a lasting impression on all who choose to share his musical journey.
Magne Thormodsæter is a Norwegian jazz musician, composer and associate Professor at Grieg Academy (in his native Bergen). He is known from numerous releases and collaborations with the likes of Terje Rypdal, Karin Krog and John Surman.
Award-winning percussionist, Øyvind Skarbø studied at the Grieg Academy and has also carried out studies in Norwegian, Cuban and Nigerian traditional music and is a driving force on the Norwegian improvisation music scene.

So, let the ice break, and immerse yourself in the soul-stirring elegance of Dag Arnesen's latest masterpiece.

David Fishel