Jacob Djurssa: jazz compositions from the oniric realm

Jacob Djurssa: jazz compositions from the oniric realm
Jacob Djursaa

In the land of the oniric world, it is possible to jump into the void—an infinite space where imagination and creativity know no bounds. From the depths of dreams, one has the power to manifest compositions that stem from the unconscious mind, shaping abstract ideas into a universal language. The result: an album for those seeking diverse sound textures.

Drømmesyn album cover

The privilege of a double life: the one you live and the one you dream. In the landscape of contemporary music, there is an album that invites listeners to experience this duality. 'Drømmesyn, a Danish word that translates to dream vision. It may seem like a simple concept, but for me, these musical ideas often emerge spontaneously while I'm playing, and I'm not always sure of their origin. This uncertainty is precisely why I'm drawn to this word.' These words belong to Danish guitarist Jacob Djursaa, who has recently unveiled his first recording: a place where space-time seems to be ethereal.

To truly grasp Jacob's musical journey, one must move to Denmark, his hometown. 'My father is a music teacher in high school. I always had music in my house when I was a child, all types of music, especially classical, but I didn't play when I was young. I think I learned piano just to improvise.' Music became commonplace in his life until he discovered the six strings. 'One day my father left his guitar and asked me if I wanted to try it. I did, and I was like, "Oh, this is great," and I’ve been playing since then. Just trying to play some songs that I liked at the time —some rock, metal, old and new stuff, and of course, some classical music—until I got into jazz, and I just wanted to put it all in.'

Besides the influence of his dad, Djursaa's musical career has a solid foundation in intellectual pursuits. He studied at the conservatories in Copenhagen, Odense, and Aarhus, and received additional tuition in NYC from the likes of Ben Monder, Lage Lund, and Chris Cheek. 'I graduated from the conservatory three years ago. I was playing a lot with some bands and recording some improvisations, but I didn’t start with the process of recording. I played my songs with many musicians that I know to receive good feedback on the music.'

Fortunately, in this dream vision, Jacob is not alone. At his side are Thomas Fryland on the trumpet, Dan Hjorth on the piano, Samuel Kiel on double bass, and Nikolaj Bangsgaard on drums. This quintet has created a safe place where listeners can dive into a calm atmosphere where progression is constant. 'These musicians represent to me some colorful landscape; they play like painting a picture. I chose them because they have the ability to bring out something extra in these tunes.' His music is inspired by the contemporary jazz tradition and Nordic folk music. 'The composition process for me is often pretty fast; it comes from improvisation, then I correct it, build arrangements, and write it down in traditional sheet music.'

At this early stage of his career, Jacob faces the reality of the music industry: reaching a bigger audience in the times of music streaming services, where choice overload is always present. If musicians weren't real dreamers, would they publish a jazz album? The answer is yes: improvisation goes beyond any dream vision. 'For me, improvisation means being in the moment and trying to create melodies and textures. Listening to what’s happening in the instance. A release and flow of energy, especially when we are playing in front of the audience. It’s an energy we release from the body.'

The mysticism permeates both the music and the title of the album. The richness of his native language allowed him to find a term that captures the essence of these melodies, which can be only understood after listening. Drømmesyn embodies a dream, a painting, and a place—a space where blurred visions merge with consciousness through sound. Jacob Djursaa's compositions evoke a sense of solitude amidst crowds, while paradoxically fostering a connection even in solitude. Each song makes it possible to unravel the abstract visions within us.