A gentle saxophone swaying over a calm reed organ surrounded by a sound sea always supporting the core. That is the basic concept of Ikiranka, a trio featuring musicians familiar from ensembles like Tsuumi Sound System, Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble, Juha Kujanpää Ensemble and Karuna. Around the instrumental duo core, Teemu Korpipää weaves sound design. I am especially fascinated by the thumb piano sounds that pop up here and there, just as a hint of something different.
Ikiranka invites the listener into a calm listening experience, a moment of peace. Both the cover and content make me think of ECM aesthetics, so if that sounds promising, do try this out. This musical meditation is of a very suitable length at 35 minutes.
Half of the tunes are the band’s own compositions and the other half are traditional songs. Sadness and melancholy are prominent, but there is light and optimism as well. Many tunes make me think of traditional wedding musicians: on their way to the ceremony, taking some jazzy turns half-way there, allowing themselves to roam free and aim for the horizon before arriving safely at their destination.
Joakim Berghäll (saxophones)
Juha Kujanpää (reed organ, keyboards)
Teemu Korpipää (additional instruments, sound design)
Kuu Records KUUREC009, 2020