The tour dates for A Hawk and A Hacksaw‘s latest LP – The Forest Bathing had been already announced. The band is for now an almost decade with an LM Dedication label and the last 3 LP recorded for them are nothing but the grow. Have a look at the venue list as it spreads nicely across the whole UK and there is a fair chance that you can make it. I will certainly do at the Con Club, Lewes. See you there.
Forest Bathing, or Shinrin-yoku, is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.
Launch at lunchtime
I love the lunchtime gigs in Soho’s PJC as they simply take you out of the always busy London’s streets and give some break and privacy, time for reflection we all lack these days. This concert however, was more than that to me as it was the launch of the new Tom Arthur’s Trio recording called One Year, which I had a great honour to hear and review here.
Veronika Harcsa & Balint Gyemant are both Hungarian artists with whom I am familiar from 2014, when they joined the Berlin based Traumton label, for which I continue reviewing for a good few years now. This was when they recorded their debut album called Lifelover for them which I had a pleasure to review. To make a long story short it was simply sensational, so since that I was hoping to experience it live sooner or later. Meanwhile, three years passed and it didn’t happen. The Duo came back with the following Tell Her, pretty much a year back from now and that also landed with me and got reviewed. But few things, luckily for us who are living in the UK, had changed.
“System Tribe” is both an impressive statement and a convincing document of Schultze’s original, futuristic compositions and interpretations. He has created music that both challenges and rewards the listener. Now Schultze amazingly transfers his award-winning creativity to his debut album as soloist.
Wanja Slavin (BMW World Jazz Award, Echo Jazz Award) presents his new album, “Salvation” with music that dazzles like the iridescent layers of a rainbow, evoking a radiance and authority – seven compositional gems with an orchestral feeling, rich tonal colors and sophisticated arrangements.
This week, Grateful Dead lyricist and digital rights activist, John Perry Barlow passed away. Although we mourn the loss of a great visionary, we will forever remember his lessons of free speech, personal growth, and marketing tactics.
Here are five lessons we learned from the digital rights activist.
When I first time heard about this new Trio recording from Tom himself I was all ears. Especially given the fact that it constituted itself from a long-time collaboration in a Duo that the trumpeter made with the pianist Richard Fairhurst. Those recordings made for London based Babel records in different Duo constellations are to me sort of Tom’s benchmarks, showing his incredible ability to communicate with the hugely reduced expression dictionary, dealing with reduced scale and keep focused artistic communication in the centre of the funnel.
Here they expanded to trio and picking the Finnish drummer Markku Ounaskari for the job was a perfect choice, again showing Arthurs’ sublime sensitivity for getting the right collaborators for his projects. The way he plays and can be heard on the numerous ECM recordings shows his ability to frame perfectly every project without going up front or showing off his own ego. Listen to some albums of Nils Petter Molvaer, Trygve Seim,Tomasz Stanko or Arve Henriksen with his drumming and you immediately understand what I mean.
Tom’s artistic inspirations varies from poetry, like mentioned above Duo on Postcars from Pushkin to strictly cinematic inspirations, like on another brilliant one on Vaucanson’s Muse which always brings to my eyes pictures from Tornatorre’s The Legend 1900 and The Love theme written by unrivalled Nino Rota.
Here we have six sketches which came a long way to their current shape. All beautifully executed and audibly mastered. Opening Evergreens has that open simplicity of the folk tune which is expressed wonderfully with trumpeter’s opening rubato. Pianist response equally gentle and sensitive comes on pair with drummer’s approach so inner tuned that they almost sound like a single voice. The harmony builds on careful listening and the act is mastered to the boarder of the tension which is deeply touching with its crystalline openness and the fragile repetitive structure with twisted timing counted by piano driving this delicate tissue.
Pyörähdellen is a perfect example of such a motion alike approach. It starts so slow than one might think after first pause that it was just an interlude, then from that point it climbs like an ivy on the fantastic construction that percussionist supplies. Around that piano starts to take over and soon the rhythm becomes romantic melody in almost Jarrett’esque style. Conversation with trumpet here then blossoms into the full climax painted with Tom’s long notes with gentle hardly noticeable vibrato.
Liepnitz in Ruhe is Tom’s weaving cloudy landscapes with long notes, slowly reaching amplitude, probably the most illustrative piece here, with both pianist and drummer following the leader’s phrase with almost intuitive feeling. I love this bit madly and can listen to it forever.
Coming after Verklöstert is pure tour the force of Ounaskari’s architectural skills and three-dimensional finesse. His drumming makes a drama here in Marilin Mazur’s panoramic landscape brushing alike style and honestly makes a piece alone. Tom’s gentle lines counterpointed by piano are sounding relaxed and dreamy like Dave Douglas’s trumpet on Charm of the Night Sky, the recording of the compelling beauty.
I bought that one from the past for the reason as once One Year/Song approaches the similarity becomes even more irresistible. Trumpet lines are coming on the drumming cannonade like a lament. Voice is so meaning and captivating that it still stays in your head even if the band is already in the middle of the repetitive chorus.
I would call that recording simply Epic
This utterly charming and heart-warming solo piano recording of an Australian pianist Paul Hankinson became a hit of the last Xmas sale madness. It literally sold out in one day not just because of over 10 years of the artist’s Berlin residency, but due to simply irresistible beauty of the music itself.
It is inspired by Schubert’s music, but despite the title just two pieces are drawing from the famous Winterreise cycle. Closing Gute Nacht and the preceding: Komm mit Mir, using a line from the final Leierman song as a leitmotif. Otherwise it is more like variation on the mood that an interpretation of Schubert’s masterpiece per say. At least I can feel it this way.
This music takes over you and keep pampering you in a time capsule. Literally time stops and the pace of the music and a decay of chords keeps building the cocoon up. An amplitude makes your pulse slowing down in the natural way and almost “forces you” to relax, calm down and look around. With this deliberately delivered perspective you keep watching the life around and it looks like the silly rad race to you. That reflection hits your inner-self in the way that you start questioning yourself what the hell really matters in life?
In many regards the feeling that Paul’s Winter Journey brings is close to what Glass’ Metamorphosis does. It kind of twists the time, changes the sense of the intervals. Makes new meaning for the Silence. And looping your memories library into the internal slide projection.
Therapeutic and completely incapacitating. The Luxury which, despite of whatever the success definition is for you, hardly few can afford with days passing by like they do in our daily Dance Macabre steps. Therefore, this reflection and time for daily musing, are simply necessary. For the sense of balance, for the mental hygiene, for the sense of the self-identity. No one can disagree.
That alone might be the best explanation for this massive success. Sure, that the time was right and a hunger for peace massive at the time it went out, but these are just circumstances. There are always some, better or worse, doesn’t matter – the life will always adjust itself to it.
What really matters is the power that this music possesses. Without that factor it wouldn’t move anyone. Wouldn’t touch any soul. It would just fade into nothingness like an ad jingle, the buzzing of a mosquito or any other irritating sound as lots of them every day’s life serves.
So, treat yourself and plunge into it. And enjoy that someone’s imagination brings such some pearls to life, from time to time.
You can buy this music here.
I would like highly recommend reading artist’s own reflection about that music which makes a perfect preface to the listening as well as showing incredible sources for inspiration and here in that text also very unique sense of humour. Enjoy both an intro and the music.
Three years later, the music from that bout of intense creativity is now released in a new ensemble constellation that sees Arthurs expand his long-time duo with pianist Richard Fairhurst to a trio with the inclusion of Finnish percussionist Markku Ounaskari. Fragile and deep, mysterious and nocturnal, romantic and entrancing, it may be both Arthurs’ most quiet and intense effort.