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He grew up next to a piano outside Stockholm, spent a few years playing trumpet in the Swedish youth music program – much to the horror of the family wiener dog – and sang in a boys choir before joining his first garage-rock band as a guitarist. Just before his eighteenth birthday, a jam session put him in direct contact with the electric bass. Those first notes, played on a left-behind instrument, opened up a universe of sounds that still resonates as a major source of inspiration.
After finishing a masters degree in Computer Science and Engineering he decided to “take a year off” to pursue his passion for the bass. A year that has lasted since 1989.
Already as a child Björn had a great interest in how and why things work and what could be done to modify their normal function. A quest that led to alternative usability and the occasional total breakdown of toys, radios and other pieces of equipment. Luckily this approach has become more refined over the years but is still very much in place. As a bass player he has developed a unique set of self-invented and highly creative playing techniques, preparations as well as specially designed electronic possibilities. Many and long discussions with master luthiers and string makers have also resulted in some unique instruments. All driven by the urge to express specific musical ideas and create a certain kind of sonic experience.
Many years spent refining his approach to the bass, as well as redefining its musical role, has made him a sought-after player and performer. Working as a soloist, alongside world-renowned artists or as a bandleader, he will always find ways to support and surprise the surrounding - listeners and fellow musicians alike.
Björn has integrated his distinct voice in the most diverse contexts, in- and outside the natural habitat of his instrument. More often than not, he has found himself in settings challenging traditional distinctions such as acoustic or electric, composed or improvised, ancient or contemporary. He has worked alongside Persian harpist and singer Asita Hamidi and is a long term collaborator with Tunisian oud master Anouar Brahem. He has spent more than twenty years with Swedish nyckelharpa player Johan Hedin and percussionist Fredrik Gille in Bazar Blå, co-defining the sound of contemporary Swedish folk music. For more than a decade he was a member of the groove-collective Nik Bärtsch's Ronin bringing complex structures to organic life.
Recent years have seen the birth of NEN, featuring Mats Eser, Chrigel Bosshard and Ania Losinger with her unique instrument Xala, as well as AMIIRA – an improvising trio with Samuel Rohrer on drums and the bassclarinet, soprano sax of Klaus Gesing. He is also a frequent collaborator in the musical DNA structures of Swiss composer / reed player Don Li and a sporadic teacher at the conservatories in Stockholm, Zurich, Bern and Lucerne.
As a solo artist, his repertory has undergone many generations of development. A vast array of ideas have appeared, disappeared, reappeared, been invented, reinvented, discarded, accepted, composed, decomposed and reevaluated. It took thirty years after his first encounter with the electric bass guitar but now his first solo-album - Provenance - is available on ECM.