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«Chinmoku wa ishikure ni yadoru bouryoku»

This project brings together Japanese alto sax players Makoto Kawashima and Harutaka Mochizuki, who collaborated before as a duo (and recorded Free Wind Mood, An’archives, 2018) with French lap steel guitarist Michel Henritzi (who recorded before with Mochizuki, Shiroi Kao 白い顔, An’archives, 2018). Their album was recorded remotely in separate location during the Covid-19 lockdowns of 2021. Kawashima recorded himself playing his parts in Tokyo, Mochizuki in Shizuoka and Henritzi in Metz.

Chinmoku wa ishikure ni yadoru bouryoku (鎮木は石暮に宿る暴力, the violent beauty of nightmoods) was inspired by Austrian expressionist poet Georg Trakl’s melancholic «Nachtlied» (Nocturnal Song) (Over nocturnal dark floods / I sing my sad songs, / Songs which bleed like wounds. / However, no heart carries them to me again / Through the darkness. // Only the nocturnal dark floods / Rush, sob my songs, / Songs which bleed from wounds, / They carry them to my heart again / Through the darkness). The album is dedicated to the late Japanese free improvising sax player and guitarist Takayuki Hashimoto who died in 2021.

The three pieces radiate faithfully the doom and gloom spirit of Trakl’s poem. The three vibrant drones float through melancholic skies but often collide with some raw and dissonant, feedback edges, while evocating haunting ghosts, their suppressed desires and the dread of lonesome dark nights. Kawahima and Mochizuki play together only on the first piece, the 22-minute «Taiyo No Maiso» (太陽の舞草, dance of the sun) but together and alone their expressive playing pays their deep respects to the seminal and uncompromising work of Japanese, pioneer and self-taught free improvising sax player Abe Kaoru.

Chinmoku wa ishikure ni yadoru bouryoku brings to mind the work of other of Trost’s label artists, the duo of reeds titan Peter Brötzmann with pedal steel player Heather Leigh, with a like-minded sad, atmospheric drone-ballads, especially on the last piece «Kumo No Hikisaki» (雲のひきさきclouds).

Eyal Hareuveni

Makoto Kawashima (as), Harutaka Mochizuki (as), Michel Henritzi (lap steel, g feedback)

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