**2019 stock** Piano Works is Lisa Ullén’s most ambitious work so far – a triple CD of solo recordings capturing the breadth and depth of her 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.
"Composer and pianist Lisa Ullén is well known to a lot of FJB readers. Her work with Anna Högberg and with Nina de Heney and Charlotte Hug is among the most recent, and very celebrated, releases reviewed here. Her duo setting with Nina de Heney goes back to around 2008, and under the name Nuiversum – and in a trio setting with vocalist Mariam Wallentin – they earned themselves a five star review. Furthermore the first release from the quartet Festen is highly recommended. Lisa is also running her own label; Disorder as well as being a very vital part of the Swedish impro scene not only as an artist but also as a curator. All in all there’s a lot to listen to when it comes to Ullén. Here we, finally, get to hear Ullén on solo piano and prepared piano! And it’s no less than three CD’s of solo piano. It’s a luxurious treat that spans over one hour and forty minutes. Ullén has created an intimate, introspective but also a curious journey and I find myself listening as mesmerized, especially during the last CD, in which the six tracks; Hollow 1 through 6, takes me further and further into the most inner space of Ullén's mind. There’s a delicate touch to every single note and I’m convinced that Ullén wants me to focus intensively on everything that’s happening from the moment the note is released until it reaches my brain. I’m almost a bit surprised that I would get so lost in a peeled off solo piano album. 100 minutes just disappears and I kind of wonder what happened. But as I listen again and again, I also begin to hear how Ullén explores different emotions. There’s a humoresque touch in The Place and in Layer Ullén challenges me with a vibrating prepared piano in a 4-minute excursion far from what I’m used to hearing from a solo piano performance. The Hollow suite on the last CD is an absolute beauty which would stand up well on its own." - Gustav Lindqvist / Free Jazz Blog