Lisa Ullén Motståndorkestern Version 1 — Sekvenser och Lager

Motståndorkestern v1 'Sekvenser och Lager'
Disorder, 2018

Fresh from releasing the solo triple-CD ‘Piano Works‘, composer and pianist Lisa Ullén masterminds the rumbling new EP of Motståndsorkestern (The Resistance Orchestra), ‘Sekvenser och lager’. In four original compositions seething with restrained energy and melodic rage, the orchestra takes what is sometimes called contemporary music apart into an ensemble playing in which the collective will is resurrected through its total respect for individual contributions.

Lisa Ullén – piano & compositions
Elsa Bergman – bass
Vilhelm Bromander – bass
Emil Skogh – bass
Joe Williamson – bass
Henning Ullén – trumpet
Mats Äleklint – trombone
Anna Lund – drums
Christopher Cantillo – drums

Lira gillar
salt peanuts*

Upcoming Concerts with Motståndorkestern

Nothing listed right now.

Lisa Ullén — Piano Works

Lisa Ullén 'Piano Works'
Disorder, 2018

Piano Works is Ullén’s most ambitious work so far – a triple CD of solo recordings capturing the breadth and depth of Ullén’s singular musical vision. Ranging from 49 seconds to almost fifteen minutes, the 27 pieces collected share the distinction of sounding thoroughly composed and yet instantaneously sculpted (as they are) at the same time. There is a precision to her playing which brings out every note, fixes it and makes it sit there on the musical canvas, even as the figures depicted defy description. Like an aural version of Beckett’s Godot, her music is constantly moving, breaking out in different directions while remaining determinedly fixed in one place. The best way to describe this music is perhaps to say that it is, literally, surprisingly melodic. Listen to ’Chair two’ for a quick example; or to the seven-part ’Hollow’ for a sustained illustration. This is anti-mood music, often astonishingly beautiful in its refusal to dramatize anything but its own unfolding.

Dig Jazz
salt peanuts*
Eyal Hareuveni / The Free Jazz Collective
Gustav Lindqvist / The Free Jazz Collective
John Sharpe / All About Jazz
The Wire / Pianist Lisa Ullén shares four unreleased recordings
Karl Ackermann/All About Jazz
Downbeat, 2018 sept
Daniel Spicer / The Wire Magazine (May2018)



Upcoming Solo Concerts

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Vilhelm Bromander Initiativ — Allt Åt Alla

Vilhelm Bromander Initiativ 'Allt Åt Alla'
Signal and Sound, 2017

The Initiative is a non-hierarchical collective with roots in the ’60s free jazz and contemporary improvised music. The music is characterised by the joy of playing, both in free forms and long-composed suite forms, where hard swing, wild improvisations and lyrical melodies melt together in unexpected combinations.

The five members are  all deeply involved in the Swedish and Norweigan free jazz scene. With distinctive voices they create a living — urgent — collective sound.

Marthe Lea — Saxophone
Niklas Barnö — Trumpet
Lisa Ullén — Piano
Vilhelm Bromander — Double bass
Christopher Cantillo — Drums

Anna Högberg Attack — Attack

Anna Högberg Attack 'Attack'
OMLOTT, 2016

Anna Högberg — alto saxophone
Elin Larsson – tenor and soprano saxophone
Malin Wättring – tenor and soprano saxophone
Lisa Ullén – piano
Elsa Bergman – bass
Anna Lund – drums


Attacking the now. The instant. The music. Attacking your image of what. Is. Music. Attacking the past. The history. What is now. Attack is all. Don’t hold back. Ever.
Curiousness and initiative is all. And attack. The attack mode.

6 Swedes attacking it all with a front of 3 sax players not holding back.

Attacking the mystery of it all. 6 defined personalities and creative voices with feet and
minds in jazz, improvised music and related experimental matters.

Togetherness. A real unit of creativity. Of poetic beauty.

Anna Högberg as a modern free jazz standard bearer keeping it all together – her rich alto sax leading the ensemble into layers of high octane outbursts and sensational melodic
variations. Her tone being able to cut landscapes open, to melt your brain as we know it.

Check the two tenor sax axes out! Elin Forkelid Larsson and Malin Wättring knows how to attack matters – how to structure solos and ensemble work with intense warmth and melodic
beauty. Seldom have I heard such warm and rich sounding tenors in Scandinavia. The time is here. The attack attack!

Drummer Anna Lund punctuating the flow… attacking it all. Laying fundaments of possibilities for the others. The attack attack!

Pianist Lisa Ullén adding her thorny, but detailed phrases to the picture. The picture of the attack attack.

And last but not least. The attack attack of deep sounding bass maestro Elsa Bergman. With an unusaul imagination of how to position her own language and bass lines into a collective
of attacking free jazz. Freeing the jazz. Attacking the jazz.

The attack attack!

/ Mats Gustafsson


The Free Jazz Collective
Stewart Smith, The Quietus
Göteborgs Fria

Upcoming Concerts with Anna Högberg Attack

Nothing listed right now.

Lisa Ullén Quartet — Borderlands

Lisa Ullén Quartet 'Borderlands'
Disorder, 2016

Lisa Ullén — Piano
Mats Äleklint — Trombon och elektronik

Nils Ölmedal — Bas

Andreas Axelsson — Trummor

Kritikerrosade Lisa Ullén Quartet är tillbaka med sin tredje CD. På de tidigare albumen Big Bang (2006) och Revolution Rock (2009) tog kvartetten frijazzen på en mullrande melodiös promenad som väckte uppmärksamhet och nyfikenhet.

Nu är det fest igen.

Borderlands är färgsprakande kick ass – inte så mycket frijazz, som fri från musikaliska fördomar: Thelonious Monk går på fest med Primal Scream och jammar loss med krautrockarna i Can, typ. “Sisters, Brothers, Here’s Another” rullar igång som ett nyanlänt tåg med drömmar, innan den samlar ihop sig till en hymn till samtiden i skivans mest lyriska ögonblick. Ändå är det skiva fylld av ömsinta ögonblick, passager där man hör hur musikerna träder fram som individer genom att bli del av nånting större. Musiken är ofta starkt melodiös – lyssna på hur såväl pianot som trombonen och basen väver samman melodislingor i ”Room Full of Tunes” till ett utdraget ackord, eller på hur Ölmedals bas samtalar med Äleklints trombon i ”Midnight Conversation,” eller på hur gruppen i ”Waiting Room” öppnar en hemlig gång till Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon.

Kvartetten arbetar inte med solon på traditionellt jazzmaner. De enskilda musikernas karaktär kommer istället fram genom deras sätt att lyssna på klangen från de omgivande instrumenten. Andreas Axelsson tillhandahåller ett elastiskt sväng som aldrig stelnar till ett groove, medan Nils Ölmedals bas hittar melodier överallt under och ovanpå Lisa Ulléns flygelattacker och Mats Äleklints trombonlinjer. Tillsammans gör de musik som blundar för genretillhörighet och inte bryr sig om regler, men präglas av omsorg och tillit. Man får lust att citera Gertrude Steins ömma knappar; det här är musik som andas ”den omsorg med vilken det finns otrolig rättvisa och likhet, allt detta gör en magnifik sparris, och också en källa.”

Borderlands är fyra musiker som sträcker ut sina händer och tar emot det som händer i samtiden i en serie friformskompositioner som öppnar gränslösa möjligheter. Det har aldrig varit viktigare att lyssna än nu.

Recorded 5 January 2015 at Atlantis Studio, Stockholm by Janne Hansson.


Eyal Hareuveni / The Free Jazz Collective
Orkester Journalen
Derek Stone / The Free Jazz Collective

Festen CD (Clean Feed, 2016)

Festen 'Festen'
Clean Feed, 2016

Isak Hedtjärn — clarinet
Lisa Ullén — piano
Elsa Bergman — double bass
Erik Carlsson — drums

The rich Scandinavian scene keeps revealing all its multiplicity and inventiveness. Now it happens with the first opus by the quartet Festen, assembled by Isak Hedtjarn, Lisa Ullén, Elsa Bergman and Erik Carlsson. The last track of the album is titled “it never gets better than this”, and it’s right: to go beyond what you’ll find here would be difficult, but considering the quality and the capacity for novelty happening in the North of Europe we never know. What surprises most about this cauldron of creativity is the number of new names constantly appearing, and you find some of the best in this recording. The most internationally recognizable is the one of pianist Lisa Ullén, and she acts in this context like a fish in the ocean. And what a vast ocean, with a central current marked by a renewed perspective of what we call free jazz, fed by reminiscences coming from every sort of contemporary, new and experimental music. Acoustic, raw and spontaneous, Festen’s art is hyperactive, bright and very affirmative, simultaneously heavy and fragile, visceral and subtle, capable either of a big impact or taking you to a microscopic world of intricate details. A wonder once again, but with different arguments.

Lisa Ullén, Nina De Heney, Charlotte Hug ‎– Quarrtsiluni

Lisa Ullén, Nina De Heney, Charlotte Hug 'Quarrtsiluni'
Lamour, 2016


”Quarrtsiluni” is an Inuit term refering to a state of deep silence in which one sits together and waits until something is ready to burst. It’s about the ancestor belief that all songs came from that deep silence. Their songs would come to the human consciousness as bubbles from oceanic depths.

This awaiting was done in the dark, and this was how their songs were born, admonishing in a common creative state maybe the spirit of the Great Whale; rituals unknown by us. Yet known; beyond the remembered.

The six tracks on this digital album are about the collective human experience of listening and then expressing what has to be expressed. Therefore: songs, not pieces; songs from the core of silence, born in the same space of the unsung. The unsung that has to become a song in it’s own thriving necessity, burst-born.

Six improvised songs burst into the light of Studio Epidemin in June 2015 when this trio gathered a crop of sounds, rythmes and notes, maybe admonishing the spirit of an invisible great whale whose deep oceanic song then surfaced.

The Lisa Ullén-Nina de Heney duo has in the past 10 years established itself as one of the most distinctive groups within the improvised scene in Europe, here joined by the astonishing avant-garde Swiss artist and musician Charlotte Hug on the alto violin.

Nuiversum — Ballads of Now & When

Nuiversum 'Ballads of Now & When'
Repeat Until Death, 2015

“Nuiversum holds an Absolute Avant-garde, the remaining stardust after the ballad big-bang. As Sun Ra’s old slogan goes ” Space is the Place”. Nuiversum is now instead.” — Timo Kangas, Lira

The Free Jazz Collective:

The Swedish, free-improvised duo of pianist Lisa Ullén and double bass player Nina de Heney have worked together since 2008, establishing themselves as a highly creative, imaginative and genre blind unit. Last year the duo expanded into a trio and recorded with cellist Okkyung Lee (Look Right, LJ Records) and a live EP with vocalist Mariam Wallentin (More on Ullén Disorder label), known as Mariam the Beliver and half of the duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums (with partner, drummer Andreas Werliin from Fire! trio and orchestra). The short, beautiful EP enriched the duo sonic universe with dreamy art-rock sensibilities and its spellbinding potential certainly justified more from this trio.

Now, under the moniker Nuiversum (Nu in Swedish means now and Universum means The Universe, hence Now is the Universe) the trio is ready to seize the world. Its sophomore LP is a beautiful transparent vinyl with an impressive art work of Canadian Lauren Tamaki (including a translation of the lyrics to Japanese). The trio proves to be a singular, poetic trio, in its imaginative instrumental interplay – introducing Wallentin playing percussion, including on the Chinese guzheng string instrument, and guitar, Ullén as sensitive prepared piano player de Heney as one of the most natural and intuitive masters of the double bass, and in its suggestive lyrical imagery, written by Wallentin and de Heney.

The ten concise pieces articulate disturbing and painful emotional storms, reflected in the open, often chaotic yet quiet nature of the music. Wallentin recites and whispers the poetic texts rather than sings them, using her charismatic phrasing and the dark colors of her vocals as another sonic ingredient. Her sensual reading of “Inside Rain” with the impeccable bow work of de Heney and spare, rhythmic piano playing of Ullén transform this miniature song to a dream-state vision. That feeling intensifies in the hazy, wordless “Tiger Dreaming in High Grass” and on de Heney hypnotic “Carpeted Dreams”. “Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered” sound as as a sobering answer to the popular tune of Rogers & Hart with the same title, still carrying a promise of the potential of strong relationship:”… when we were a team, a gang, a bang a sudden storm that could bow through any time…”.

A true masterpiece, full of deep wisdom, burning passion and naked fragility.

Lisa Ullén, Nina de Heney, Okkyung Lee ‎– Look Right

Lisa Ullén, Nina de Heney, Okkyung Lee 'Look Right'
LJ, 2013

Underlying the choice of expanding their existing duo, Lisa Ullén-Nina de Heney duo, to a trio featuring cellist Okkyung Lee, was a desire to extend the musical spectrum covered in their first album. Okkyung Lee’s expressive and intensive playing blended as the most natural and organic element into the duo’s music. This is trio music par excellence.

The seven pieces on this album, just as there are seven days in a week, are each and one of them, seven distinct instant compositions : as obvious as lucid dreams.

The pianist and composer Lisa Ullén acts within the Swedish jazz/improvisation’s scene. She performs solo, as well as she performs in different groups like Lisa Ullén Quartet and in international collaborations, that have resulted in many tours in Europe and USA.

Nina de Heney, who studied with Miroslav Vitous at the New England Conservatory in Boston in1981-1983 and later on Academy of Music at the University of Gothenburg is, just as Lisa Ullén, an experienced free lance solo musician, in other groups and in inter artistic projects, like the one with the dancer Anna Westberg. She was 2012 awarded the SR price “Jazzkatten” as Musician of the year.

Currently based in Berlin, Okkyung Lee, cello, is one the most exciting profiles on the international experimental scene, known for her solo work as well as her extensive collaborations with the top names of the avant-garde.

Lisa Ullén & Nina de Heney feat. Mariam Wallentin — More

Lisa Ullén & Nina de Heney feat. Mariam Wallentin 'more'
Disorder, 2012

MORE: mer pop än impro, mer impro än pop. Fyra låtar som tar med lyssnaren på en resa genom en klangvärld som skär rätt igenom dröm och verklighet. Tre musiker som hittar en puls utanför konventionella genregränser. Två sidor filmiska ögonblickskompositioner som förenar det invanda med det oväntade. Ett möte mellan fullständigt improviserad musik och ett popidiom som framstår som alldeles självklart när man väl hör det.

Mariam Wallentin, röst och slagverk, mer känd som ena halvan av uppmärksammade indiepopduon Wildbirds & Peacedrums, uppträder också solo som Mariam The Believer; hon är en av de mest prisade rösterna inom alternativ pop i Norden. Man förstår varför: hennes röst vänder kompositionerna ut mot världen och in mot själen.
Lisa Ullén, piano, och Nina de Heney, bas, har arbetat tillsammans sedan 2008, och duon har under den tiden etablerat sig som en av de mest intressanta och egenartade ljudupplevelserna inom improviserad musik, i Sverige såväl som internationellt. Med suverän kontroll mejslar de fram dramatiska ljudbilder minimalistiska musikaliska motiv flätas samman i suggestiva mönster. Det är som bevittnade vi de akustiska negativen av välbekanta poplåtar: motiven är bekanta, men förvandlade, som såg vi dem genom ett drömfilter.

”Will never find” placerar oss i något som kunde vara en konventionell kärleksballad, men klär av den all sentimentaliet. ”Seven Women” ger oss ett slags muterad akustisk koranfunk som för tankarna till Brian Enos och David Byrnes My Life in the Bush of Ghost. “Pray” börjar som en Buddistisk böneringning i en lumpsamlarbod men förvandlas snabbt till ett ljudlandskap som minner om den instrumentala inledningen på Bowies Station to station. ”The Rainbow” närmar sig ett mål – platsen bortom begäret. Där tystnar det, men det ät en tystnad full av klang.

MORE är inget mindre än en sensation.

Ullén / Dóra / Mazur Trio ‎– Behind And Beyond

Ullén / Dóra / Mazur Trio 'Behind And Beyond'
Transidiomatics, 2010

Rafal Mazur — Acoustic Bass Guitar
Attila Dóra — Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone –
Lisa Ullén — Grand Piano

Recorded & mixed by Rafal Drewniany
Recorded live 08.02.2009 at Solvay, Centre of Contemporary Art in Kraków, Poland
Design/Artwork by Piotr Jakubowicz

Lisa Ullén & David Linross

Lisa Ullén & David Linross 'LUDL'
Disorder, 2009

Lisa Ullén — Prepared Piano
David Linross — Alto Saxophone

CDr. For more info contact:

Lisa Ullén Quartet — Revolution Rock

Lisa Ullén Quartet 'Revolution Rock'
Disorder, 2009

Lisa Ullén — Piano
Mats Äleklint — Trombon
Nils Ölmedal — Bas
Andreas Axelsson — Trummor

Lisa Ullén Quartet, ett av de intressantaste namnen på den svenska jazzscenen just nu, släpper en ny skiva, Revolution Rock – en passande titel för musik som inte bryr sig om genregränser. På skivan tutar trombonisten Mats Äleklint i sin trombon som en Satchmo på knark, medan Ullén blandar våldsamma ackordriff med lyriska drillar över nya basisten Nils Ölmedals och batteristen Andreas Axelsson egensinnigt svängiga komp. Det här är en grupp som förstått att revolutionen står att söka i detaljerna.

Debutskivan Big Bang fick ett mycket gott mottagande i svensk musikpress när den kom ut för tre år sedan. På Revolution Rock fortsätter kvartetten att karva fram en alldeles egen mix av hårdsvängande friformsjazz och melodisk sensibilitet.

Recorded by Mats Äleklint at Fylkingen, Stockholm on the 15th of August 2008. Mastered by Mats Äleklint.

Process & Lisa Ullén — Live in Krakow

Process & Lisa Ullén 'Live in Krakow'
Audiotong, 2008

Improvised music scene in Krakow seems to be very lively and rapidly developing. The recording here is a good example of what we mean.

Well-known Swedish pianist, Lisa Ullen, came to the city in July and performed an astonishing concert with local musicians – the Process ensamble featuring Rafal Mazur on custom-made acoustic bass guitar, Rafal Drewniany on laptop and electronic devices and Michal Dymny on electric guitar.

Starting off with a low but intense sound the performance went into the area of unstoppable fury and passion. Four great musicians understanding each other almost perfectly made this slighlty more than 30 minutes a really enjoyable concert.

Lisa Ullén —grand piano
Rafal Mazur — acoustic bass guitar
Rafal Drewniany — laptop
Michal Dymny — electric guitar

Recorded live in Contemporary Art Centre Solvay
Krakow, 25.07.2008

Recorded by Bogdan Czyszczan

Mixed and mastered by Rafal Drewniany – Mobile Recording Studio “Dźwięk to Sztuka/Sound is Art