Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Malerai/Uchihashi/Maya R – Utsuroi (2015)

Malerai / Uchihashi / Maya R

Michał Górczyński - clarinet, tenor saxophone, keyboard, plastic flute, toy guitar, voice
Kazuhisa Uchihashi - guitar, daxophone
Maya R - vocal
Dagna Sadkowska - violin
Mikołaj Pałosz - cello



By Adam Baruch

This album presents a wonderful project created by Polish trio Malerai, formed and led by clarinetists/composer Michał Górczyński with violinist Dagna Sadkowska and cellist Mikołaj Pałosz, and two Japanese musicians: vocalist Maya R and guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi. The album presents thirteen songs, which are sung in Japanese. Eleven of these songs were composed by Górczyński and two by Uchihashi. The lyrics of these songs were written by Japanese poets: Hekigoto Kawahigashi (the pioneer of modern haiku) and Yoshihiro Harada and by Friedrich Nietzsche (translated into Japanese).

The music is all about the sound and ambience of the Japanese language and reflects its many subtleties. Completely cross-genre, it moves freely between Pop, Rock, Jazz and contemporary Classical, with ease and elegance, always keeping the listener in suspense. Górczyński emerges here, similarly to his work on earlier Malerai projects, as one of the most interesting Polish contemporary composers and his ability to diversify his palette to suit different environments is quite remarkable.

Since this album is about the sound and feel of the Japanese language, it is not necessary for the listener to understand the language as such in order to enjoy this album. The vocals can be easily considered as one of the instruments of the entire ensemble and be accepted as such. The Polish and English translations of the lyrics are present in the album's booklet, for those who are interested in the actual meaning of the lyrics.

Overall this is a beautiful piece of contemporary music, which by its aesthetic potency easily bridges genres and cultures, creating a completely new universe. Superb music, great performances and a true gift for innovation and farsightedness turn this into a first class musical experience, which of course is wholeheartedly recommended!

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