In this field journal edition, I am happy to share some wonderful new sounds that have caught my ear by way foraging through a wave of new & upcoming releases featuring music by AVAWAVES, Foam and Sand, GoGo Penguin, Hanakiv, Julia Gjertsen & Juha Mäki-Patola, Mammal Hands, Onur Tarçın, and Steve Gunn & David Moore.
AVAWAVES – “Fractured Light”
From ‘Piano Day Compilation Vol. 2’ [Leiter]
For the second year running, Nils Frahm‘s LEITER label will be releasing a compilation of new songs to coincide with Piano Day, which falls on March 29 (the 88th day of the year) – a baker’s dozen of tracks from the likes of Hélène Vogelsinger, Daigo Hanada, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, James Heather, and more. We get a lovely preview of what’s in store with the lead single by AVAWAVES, the instrumental duo of violinist Anna Phoebe and pianist/producer Aisling Brouwer. Demonstrating their take on the seemingly infinite compositional possibilities of the instrument, their contribution evokes a luminous sonic vision of light refracting off the surface of a frozen lake.
We imagined the way light refracts, like shards of glass or winter sunlight on a cold, clear day, gliding over a frozen lake.
Piano Day Compilation Vol. 2 will be released March 29, 2023. Visit https://www.pianoday.org for more information, features, and events.
Foam and Sand – “Circle 35 (feat Stewart Cole)”
From ‘Foam and Sand’ [Nettwerk Music Group]
Award winning producer/composer Robot Koch continues the buildup the self-titled full-length release of his ambient Foam and Sand project with this collaboration which has Stewart Cole (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros) laying down soulful improvisations with his trumpet against an atmospheric backdrop of piano and synth lines subjected by Koch to the “beautiful imperfections” of tape processing.
Foam and Sand is due for release by Nettwerk Music Group on March 17, 2023
GoGo Penguin – “Saturnine”
From ‘Everything Is Going to Be OK’ [XXIM Records]
As they cook up to the release of their first full album with new drummer Jon Scott, GoGo Penguin just released the second single from Everything Is Going to be OK due in April on the Sony’s XXIM offshoot. Sizzling with clean, tight percussion lines and the sparkling interplay of piano and bass for which the band is known, it is a slow-burning gem that indicates the updated trio is coming out of the gate clicking on all cylinders.
Everything Is Going to be OK will be available on April 14, 2023. The band is also kicking off a North American tour at the end of April followed by a number of UK and European dates in May and June – check out their website for more info.
Hanakiv – “Home II”
From ‘Goodbyes’ [Gondwana Records]
Gondwana Records continues to release new music and introduce new talent at a blistering pace. Next to debut on the label is Estonian-born, London-based sound artist & pianist Hanakiv with her album Goodbyes due out next month. Drawing on influences ranging from Regina Spektor and Kara-Lis Coverdale to Arvo Pärt and Tim Hecker as well as her love of seaside and forests of her homeland, she presents eight expressive instrumental meditations from piano, strings, and electronics, each with “a little goodbye in it”.
This is an album about healing. It is about saying your goodbyes to everything that doesn’t serve you anymore…
Goodbyes will be released March 10, 2023 on LP, CD, & digital. Accompanying her on the track featured here is Alabaster DePlume on saxophone.
Julia Gjertsen & Juha Mäki-Patola – “Dive”
From ‘Dive’ [bigo & twigetti]
Dive is a compact musical journey comprising four pieces inspired by the ocean and the Nordic climate by a pair of collaborators who know that part of the world well. Fittingly the exchange of musical ideas between Julia Gjertsen (Norway) and Juha Mäki-Patola (Finland) began while Julia was travelling by ferry, and we are told the two composers wanted the music to reflect “how it feels to observe nature and to be at sea and how this affects our inner world”. I’ve had a chance to preview the EP and it is quite magical how Julia and Juha have blended piano with ambient textures and rhythmic elements to form a lens through which we can see this part of their world with our mind’s eye.
Dive will be released March 10, 2023 by the London-based Bigo & Twigetti label
Mammal Hands – “Nightingale”
From ‘Gift from the Trees’ [Gondwana Records]
For their fifth album, instrumental trio Mammal Hands chose a residential studio in the Welsh countryside to give themselves the freedom to make music in the most organic way possible and come closer to capturing the energy of their live performances. The peregrine beauty of lead single “Nightingale” certainly gives the resounding impression they have succeeded. Developed in two stints, one during the winter and one in the spring, the full picture of Gifts from the Trees will arrive at the end of March.
Some of the tracks have a raw joy and energy that came with being able to play together again after a long period of time of having been apart, and capture that feeling of just being happy to be in a room with our instruments altogether again.Saxophonist Jordan Smart
Gifts from the Trees will be released March 31, 2023 on CD, LP, & digital
Onur Tarçın- “réfraction”
Onur Tarçın is a composer and producer of modern classical, electronic, and ambient music based in the historic French city of Senlis. With a number of film scores and licensed music placements to his name, Tarçın quietly released this beautifully constructed track on Bandcamp which blends the sounds of an old ’70s piano with analog synthesizers, strings, and other acoustic instruments wrapped in the warm patina of reel-to-reel tape processing.
réfraction was released January 6, 2023. The track, which was recorded at Tarçın’s studio in Senlis, was mastered by Martyn Heyne and features original artwork by Jason Ting.
Steve Gunn & David Moore – “Over the Dune”
From ‘Reflections Vol. 1: Let the Moon Be a Planet’ [RVNG Intl.]
The first volume in a new series of contemporary collaborations orchestrated by RVNG Intl., Let the Moon Be a Planet brings together guitarist Steve Gunn and pianist/composer David Moore (Bing & Ruth) for a collection of tracks that began development through remote sessions but was ultimately completed with musicians working together in the “bucolic surroundings” of Hudson, New York. The interplay that unfurls on lead single “Over the Dune” between Gunn’s painterly guitar and Moore’s undulant piano is captivating and one can only look forward to hearing more when the album comes out next month.
Let the Moon Be a Planet will be released March 31, 2023 on CD, LP, and digital. The pair will be playing a number of dates in the USA, UK, & Europe from March 31 to the end of April. See https://www.steve-gunn.com/shows or https://www.bingandruth.com/live for more information.