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Kiri (Niran Dasika & Sumire Kuribayashi)
ABC Jazz presents Kiri, an exquisite and ravishing new album from Australian trumpeter Niran Dasika and Japanese pianist Sumire Kuribayashi.
Recorded live at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz in 2018, Kiri captures two exciting young artists utterly in synch with each other, demonstrating the sort of chemistry that only comes from a deep musical connection.
Dasika met Kuribayashi met in Tokyo in 2015, shortly after he moved to Japan, and over the following years they played together in various combinations. Says Dasika, “As with all good musical collaborations it started from an unlikely chance meeting and was sustained by a combination of friendship and shared musical vision.”
The compositions on this album are inspired by the ‘nihonga’ paintings of renowned Japanese author and painter Kaii Higashiyama, which occupy a special place in Dasika and Kuribayashi’s relationship.
“When I moved back to Australia at the end of 2017,” Dasika recalls, “Sumire gave me a book of Higashiyama prints as a parting gift. This book remained open on my piano music stand in Perth for about three months, during which I would sporadically open to a page that caught my interest and improvise, playing the piano and singing melodies, until it started to sound like how the painting felt
to me. I don’t consider myself at all knowledgeable about art, but Higashiyama’s paintings seem to me, with only some simple colours and geometric shapes, to really capture the feeling of being in nature.
“The first sketch I wrote was for the painting ‘Kiri’ (Mist) which forms the cover artwork for the album. ‘Kiri’ depicts just a few tree trunks fading into the distance, but there’s something about the textures that conveys the feeling of cool, damp mist on my skin. ’Evening Tide’ shows a shoreline at night with barely anything visible yet I can hear the sounds of the waves crashing unseen on the shore.”
Most of the compositions on the album fill no more than a single page when written out, but such is the connection between these two that these outlines can become over ten minutes of music in a performance.
“Both Sumire and I approach improvising in this project from a very compositional angle. By playing together over several years we’ve been able to develop enough trust and mutual understanding that we anticipate each other’s reactions and can create longer spontaneous forms in the moment.”
Born in Canada and raised in Melbourne with Indian and German heritage, Niran Dasika is a trumpeter gaining increasing attention around Australia and abroad for his distinctive, ethereal trumpet sound and compositions. Niran’s virtuosic trumpet playing has placed him in high demand both in Australia and in Japan, where he spent some years performing and recording on albums from Blue Note Records, Sony Music, Diskunion Records and more. Awarded 2nd place at the 2017 National Jazz Awards, in 2019 Niran was the recipient of the APRA AMCOS Professional Development Award and the Jazz Bell Awards Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year, in addition to being nominated for the Freedman Jazz Fellowship.
Sumire Kuribayashi is a Japanese pianist and composer gaining increasing renown within Japan and overseas. She has performed with Japanese jazz legends Hino Terumasa, Hideaki Kanazawa, Naoko Terai and has released four critically acclaimed albums under her own name. Jazzconvention.net said of Sumire, ”Belonging to the young generation of Japanese jazz scene, Kuribayashi has become in the last few years one of the most appreciated pianists both for her noteworthy creative qualities and the remarkable storytelling that crosses the textures of her music.”
1. Kiri (Mist) 11’57
2. Seikyou (Green Echoes) 7’13
3. Wildflower / Iku Haru (Passing Spring) 12’46
4. Hana Akari (Bright Cherry Blossoms) 7’15
5. Bochou (Evening Tide) 9’57
6. Spring Hymn 5’08
Niran Dasika trumpet
Sumire Kuribayashi piano