Axelsson & Nilsson Duo

In 1986 two young Swedish musicians – the percussionist Jonny Axelsson and the trombonist Ivo Nilsson – met at the famous summer courses for contemporary music in Darmstadt. The meeting resulted in the establishment of the Axelsson & Nilsson Duo, which has belonged to the experimental avant-garde in Swedish music for almost twenty years.

Even the composition of the duo is unusual: Trombone and percussion. Understandably, large parts of their now very extensive and unique repertoire have been written specifically for them.

Some of these works have been captured on CD – including works by Dror Feiler, Karin Rehnquist, Richard Barrett and Volker Staub (Axelsson & Nilsson Duo. dB Productions 1997).

Alongside their activities in the duo, Axelsson and Nilsson both work with a number of other projects, alone or in collaborations with other musicians and artists. They are both members of the artists’ association 'Fylkingen', and Ivo Nilsson is a member of the chamber ensemble KammarensembleN.

Axelsson & Nilsson are highly experimental and exploratory in their art. The link between improvisation and interpretation is one central element; another is their participation in other contexts including theatre, dance productions, art exhibitions and educational activities with courses and seminars.

Jonny Axelsson works with composers to discover new sound-possibilities and to develop new playing techniques (and even new instruments), and his solo repertoire, which is both large and demanding, includes major works by composers like Iannis Xenakis, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Per Nørgård and Kaija Saariaho.

Both as a soloist and in the duo Axelsson plays works by Ivo Nilsson, who has also made a name as a composer. His full-length work Rotorelief, based on texts by Marcel Duchamp, has recently been released on a CD in a recording by KammarensembleN (SFZ Records, SFZ 1006).