Adrian Freedman – Kindred Souls
Nixi Music – 18 June 2021
I just lately reviewed a exceptional album known as Mind Maintenance, primarily exploring the character of music as a therapeutic energy, a undertaking significantly related and necessary on the present time. Adrian Freedman, a Japanese shakuhachi flute devotee and explorer of the therapeutic properties of music inside completely different cultures, has additionally chosen an acceptable time to launch his new undertaking, Kindred Souls. The central theme to this sequence of on-line and dwell occasions and album is quite a lot of collaborations with musicians from 5 continents who’re additionally drawn to the music and devices of various cultures. The ensuing album is a much more wide-reaching and broad sounding recording than Thoughts Upkeep, which doesn’t deviate from its two-instrument construction, however even throughout its seventy minutes run time (which flies by), Kindred Souls is cautious to take care of its sense of house and its calm vitality, which is the bedrock of its creation.
All that stated, songs like Mystic Flight do strip the sound again to its basic components and permit a transparent and unadulterated magnificence to shine by way of. For this piece, Adrian’s low shakuhachi notes mix with Czech musician Pavel Sedlacek‘s omana hand pan (often known as a hold drum) to create a quietly spellbinding soundscape. The audible sound of Pavel’s fingers hitting the pan together with Adrian’s inhalations earlier than taking part in his notes give this piece a sure purity that’s vastly profitable and fairly soothing. Related in spirit is Desert Dream, which brings in Brazilian musician Adriano Machado taking part in the North African bendir drum, an instrument with an virtually metallic timbre and a extra resonant sound than the hand pan. This edge to the sound directly offers the track a sure starkness and a extra pressing really feel that the gamers intensify with a steadily elevated tempo within the mid-section. An instrumental piece, it’s stunning in its simplicity and use of repetition, as is Alhuriya, one other duet, this time with Adnan Agha‘s Syrian Buzak, a long-necked lute with two units of double-tracked strings, performed with a plectrum for extra assault. These sharp notes once more lend the track extra drama, which is once more helped together with a fast tempo in locations and extra abruptly performed shakuhachi notes from Adrian.
Extra accompanied tracks embrace Peace Awakening, that includes violin (Elina Rodevic) and bass (Endre Hareidi) together with Sigmund Vatvedt‘s dilruba (an Indian classical stringed instrument) and Adrian and Darpan’s voice, together with opener Astral Daybreak, with Adrian’s guitar and percussion (that is the one track with out his shakuhachi), plus Ravi Freeman on the African kora, Arjun Magee on the Indian dholak drum and Misha Mullov Abbado taking part in the double bass. These could sound like difficult fusions, however the sound is directly wealthy and numerous with out coming near overdoing it, one thing I discover most gratifying about this music. Hijos Guerreros do Sol is one other tune with a fuller association, this one boasting Kuauhtli Vasquez and Tao Txana‘s guitar and vocal expertise, together with Tavo Vazquez‘s excessive strung charango, an instrument comparable in character to the cuatro or requinto jarocho and possibly originating from what’s now Bolivia. This South American tune makes use of chord refrains and instrumental prospers together with dynamic vocals to permit its eleven minutes to slide by very pleasantly. One other lengthy one is Om Tryambakam, a ten-minute journey utilizing distant gongs, programmed echoes and drone notes to accompany a standard piece sung by Maureenji. Equally to Mystic Flight and Desert Dream, Om Tryambakam permits loads of house into the track, with Nick Barber‘s keyboards and programming sitting behind Adrian’s eerie shakuhachi taking part in and Maureenji’s alluring vocal.
Elsewhere, our very personal ornithological folks hero Sam Lee crops up along with his fantastic eponymous supporting solid for Nightingale Soul Name, one other track stripped to its barest components and all of the extra highly effective for it. Adrian’s shakuhachi right here joins the nightingales in offering the upper notes, whereas Sam’s low droning shruti field underpins the piece and provides a broader tonal palette. It’s straightforward to say that Nightingale Soul Name is a lesson in persistence and restraint and is a track that fantastically blends the purity of music with nature and the human spirit, however the identical will be stated of so many on this ten-strong set. Take April Fortune for instance; right here Adrian’s shakuhachi performs extra delicate and shorter notes with out the deep muscular tones of among the different songs, which serves to permit Yoshiyuki Matsumoto‘s balafon (an excellent sounding gourd powered xylophone) to create the majority of the melody together with Hiroki Okano‘s kalimba (an instrument similar to the mbira hand piano, one half of Thoughts Upkeep). There’s a hypnotic steadiness to this piece that comes closest to the standard sort of therapeutic music I’ve come throughout earlier than and its bewitching qualities imply that it might proceed on for a lot of extra minutes than its allotted six with out the impact of sporting off. This one is a spotlight amongst highlights. The didgeridoo of Esoh and erhu (a Chinese language two-stringed spike fiddle) and voice of Ema end the set with Deep Area Blue, a spooky crafted soundscape that Adrian’s shakuhachi deftly explores. The echoey notes of Ema’s vocals, each peaceable and uncooked in locations, give this track an other-worldly, fantastical air that could be a becoming finish to an album so steeped in musical variety and cultures that it usually looks like nothing I’ve heard earlier than.
Kindred Souls is an excellent idea and the top product is sort of super; an immensely wealthy and interesting listening expertise on document, I’m positive that the dwell occasions are additionally very particular. This album is one to savour and luxuriate in a number of instances and the supply of such highly effective and therapeutic music is fantastically timed.
Order Kindred Souls right here: https://adrianfreedman.com/product/kindred-souls/
Extra information: https://adrianfreedman.com/music-projects/collaborations/kindred-souls/
Upcoming Occasions: https://adrianfreedman.com/upcoming-events/
Additionally out there through Bandcamp: https://adrianfreedman.bandcamp.com/album/kindred-souls
Photograph Credit score: Martyn John Taylor