The first sketch for ‘Ain’t no sunshine’ dates from 1995.
It’s a simple undressed ballad with the text:
“Ain’t no sunsine
to polish my dreams,
come sweet sleep, come careless..”
When clarinettist David Kweksilber asked me to write for his Big Band, i dug up this sketch, and fiddled around with it.
When i started the BigBand-work, the accompaniment of the original ballad (doublebass and drums played with brushes), had become more important than the melody,
which only survives as a hazy shadow.
This was january 2008 and i stayed and worked at the ICC on the island of Gotland, Sweden in the town of Visby, and the only thing i had brought with me were scores of several Bach-cantatas and some 70’s cd’s of Scott Walker and Nick Drake.
Playing the cantatas at the piano every morning made Bach enter the BigBand-work in different ways:
His name is hidden in the score everywhere,
and at the end of the work the musicians, as an ode, put down their instruments and whistle an accompaniment to chords derived from a Bach-recitativo.
“Ain’t no sunshine” is a work with open spaces
where the melody mostly fails to be,
double-bass, drums and brasschords taking over the lead with their
The ‘sentimental mood’ of Drake and Walker did the rest.