Music to me is love. Love is unconditional.
In my childhood I was lucky to meet music in a highly active school orchestra. Through Mozart's Clarinet Concerto I for the first time encountered the musical eternity of the moment which gave me a sense of natural resonance and meaning.
During my studies I started to compose music for both smaller and larger ensembles - symphonic orchestras and big bands, among others. My debut concert took place at The Jazzhouse Montmartre in 1992.
Institute of Musicology at the University of Copenhagen, 1988
The Sibilius Academy, Helsingfors, 1 semester: Composition, 1990
The Conservatory of Rythmic Music, 1992
Composition Studies at the The Conservatory og Rythmic Music, 1996 – 1998 with Bob Brookmeyer a.o.
I have taught at several conservatories, MGK's and at several music schools in Denmark, among others at Nordjysk Music Conservatory, Vestjysk Music Conservatory and at the Conservatory of Rhythmic Music in Copenhagen (RMC).
Through the years I have among others played with:
The Danish Radio Big Band, UMO Big Band, James Moody, Ed Neumeister, Dick Oats, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely, Deborah Brown, Bill Dobbins, Bob Mintzer, Tim Hagans, Ann-Sofi Söderquist Quintet, Riel/Lundgaard/Dahl/Nielsen Quartet, Carsten Dahl/ Christina Dahl Duo, Marilyn Mazur/Lars Danielsson/CarstenDahl/Christina Nielsen Quartet, Danish National Chamber Orchestra (RUO) Heartbeats/Christina Dahl Trio with Jesper Lundgaard & Morten Lund.
Montreaux International Jazz Festival, Aberdeen Youth Festival, Keitele Jazz Festival, Stockholm Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Jazz Festival, Vancouver Festival and other festivals and I have travelled as a musician in many European countries as well as in Africa, Canada and in China.
I have composed music for small and large ensembles, among others: The Danish National Chamber Orchestra (RUO), The Athelas Ensemble, The Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, The Riel-Lundgaard-Dahl-Nielsen Quartet, The Christina Nielsen Quartet feat. Marilyn Mazur, Lars Danielsson and Carsten Dahl, Carsten & Christina Dahl Duo, Band Ane, Marilyn Mazur and Christina Dahl, Christina Dahl Trio with Jesper Lundgaard & Espen Laub von Lillienskjold featuring Niclas Knudsen.
The Walther Klæbel Memorial Award (2012), DJBFA's Honorary Award (2011), The Bent Jædig Award (2010), The Ben Webster Award (1994), Second prize at the Europe International Jazz Contest in Belgium 1994 with The Christina Nielsen Quintet and the award for the best arrangemet. I've received work grants from Statens Kunstfond in Denmark, DJBFA and support from Koda and DMF.
Through my compositions I try to reflect life. Musical pictures of the moments that contain the extremeties of life, contrasts and fragility. The realization that nothing is eternal, that chaos suddenly can embrace, creates a more clear presence in which it feels easier to pour of one's own authenticity. The feeling of an eternal Now kan flourish herein and contain the beautiful and the ugly as changing energies, as fluttering trees in the winds.
To me, composing music is storytelling - moments with music and pictures: They come to me as one collected entity. They simply are.
Storyville Records presents “Life’s Carousel” a new album with critically acclaimed saxophonist Christina Dahl. Known for her unique sound and melodic playing, Dahl creates an intense musical experience with a repertoire of original compositions.
The quartet consists of Jesper Lundgaard, who plays with great virtuosity and is an internationally acclaimed bass player; Espen Laub von Lilienskjold, a young talented drummer who is able to follow the music unconditionally with great musical energy; and Niclas Knudsen, a great guitar player with a big personality who is able to express himself freely and lyrically.
Together the quartet recorded eight tunes all composed by Christina Dahl. Because of a fire in the studio the musicians had to relocate to a house in the countryside for the recording session. This created an intimate atmosphere where the musicians where able to communicate directly with each other.
All the musicians have the roles as soloists creating a space for personal originality and free communication. The quartet plays with freedom and dynamics, which comes to life in a spacious and playful ensemble.
In all the compositions lie tales that have a symbolic relation to life and its richness in all its forms and colors. “Through my compositions I try to reflect on life,” says Dahl and continues: “Creating musical snapshots of life’s extremes, contrasts and vulnerability. Composing music to me is telling tales - moments of music and pictures. This comes to me as a unified whole. It just is. That is why I always begin the compositions by telling the story when I’m performing.”
Christina Dahl is one of the most respected Danish tenor saxophonists. She has played with Bob Brookmeyer, Marilyn Mazur, Carsten Dahl, Lars Danielsson, Alex Riel among others and studied jazz and composition at the Conservatory of Rhythmic Music in Denmark. In 2010 she released “Now Is Now” on Storyville Records.