Burkinabé director Idrissa Ouedraogo passed away today at the age of 64. He was one of Africa’s best auteurs. The film being shared here, Yaaba, portrays the rather odd coupling of a boy and an elderly woman who was spurned by her village, as posted in the obituary.
Greek pianist and composer Zinovia Arvanitidi has a new disc coming out, and if the one track she and record company Kitchen Label shared is any indication, it will be a spectacular release. From her Bandcamp site:
“There is a life and there is a death, and there are beauty and melancholy between.”
Born in Athens, Greek composer Zinovia Arvanitidi is most widely remembered as one half of the duo Pill-Oh in Vanishing Mirror as well as her debut solo The Gift of Affliction. Zinovia returns with her first solo piano album titled Ivory, and like its precursors, further highlights her mastery in crafting piano ambiances of austere beauty and melancholia, led by mesmerizing melodies and evolving cinematic textures.
Fully self-produced, the now France-based composer navigates through her own time-memory universe with Debussy-like impressionistic daubs, but sublimely she draws the listener into a strangely familiar landscape where the past confronts the present – it is perhaps a dimension that exists within all of us. As the chapters unfold, memories are untangled as darkness shifts into light. The minimalistic nature of the early piano pieces are then transformed, lush and ornate with orchestral strings, subtle electronic atmospheres, field recordings and airy whispers.
An omnipresent sense of duality lingers throughout the album, as with the ivory and ebony colours of piano keys, or the birth and decay of seasons. This is a work where the artist has grasped the essence of the quote by Albert Camus: “There is a life and there is a death, and there are beauty and melancholy between”. The aural journey heightens, then subsides with a newfound serenity in closing, engaging the listener to invoke their own introspections on acceptance and healing.
Rooted in film and television (and represented by film composer agency Oticons among the names of Shigeru Umebayashi and Jan A.P Kaczmarek), Zinovia’s well-versed background in cinematic scoring manifests in her dexterity at veiling intricacies within each track that only unveil themselves with each subsequent listen. As a fully expanded realisation of Zinovia’s artistic voice, Ivory will resonate with fans who love Pill-Oh, and appeal to those familiar with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Dustin O’Halloran.
French photographer Aëla Labbé’s enigmatic cover art photography once again unifies with Zinovia’s soundscapes since her work for Vanishing Mirror.
Zinovia Arvanitidi releases Ivory on 29 March 2018 on Piano Day via KITCHEN. LABEL worldwide. Available on 180g white vinyl LP, CD and DL.
March 29th can’t come fast enough for me.
Finders Keepers have released 100 of the most brilliant reissues imaginable. Spanning from weird African tapes to Jean Rollin horror soundtracks, the lads at FK seem unstoppable at the moment. Here’s to another 100 gems, at least!
±0 (pronounced as plus-minus-nula) are a post-punk band out of Prague, Czech Republic. This eponymous debut was released in March of 2017. If you are a fan of this particular genre of music, especially of the sounds made by The Cure, Joy Division, The Sound or others during the 1979-1980 heyday of the genre, this album was made specifically for you in mind.
Kudos go especially to their sound engineer, who must have really studied post-punk. He managed to get the sound just right for the band. Authentic, and worth exploring further!
Though this release isn’t breaking any radical ground musically, Hypnodial reminds me of some of the more solid ambient and electronic music releases of the late 80s and early 90s. Well done, well produced, and something quite nice to relax to.
Blake DeGraw is a very interesting multi-instrumentalist and experimental music composer and improviser out of Seattle, Washington. On this album, he is deconstructing a violin, making some terribly pleasant noise along the way.