This is music with a message and a prayer. Sirkis has explained that he and Bialas wanted to reflect the global change and turmoil of recent years and consider what we all, individually and collectively, need to do to evolve towards a better world.
His and Bialas’s compositions draw on numerous influences and traditions, both stylistic and geographical: for example, Sirkis’s adoption of Konnakol, the “vocal percussion” familiar from Indian music, alongside (and sometimes simultaneously with) his conventional drumming.
Glasgow’s melodic, nimble bass playing is often prominent, especially when using the upper register, and Harrison takes several beguiling piano solos, whilst Bialas’s voice intertwines effectively.
This is far from a “vocalist with instrumental accompaniment” project: there are lyrics to some compositions but on all tracks the vocals form an integral part of the textures of the music. (As it happens, they were added later to the band’s London recordings.) The compositions never seem preachy and the message never derails the musical logic.
CD1: If Pegasus Had One Wing (He Would Fly In Spirals); Land Of Oblivion; Letter To A; Reminiscence; Chiaroscuro (37.24)
CD2: The Earth Suite (Rooting; Our New Earth); Spooky Action At A Distance; Message From The Blue Bird; Nocturnity; Picture From A Polish Wood (46.47)
Sylwia Bialas (v, waterphone); Frank Harrison (p, kyb); Kevin Glasgow (6-string el-b); Asaf Sirkis (d, pc, v). London, August 2017; Wurzburg December 2017 – January 2018.
MoonJune Records MJR 099