Format: COMPACT DISC
Makiko Hirabayashi Trio
Meteora - a chain of Greek-Byzantine monasteries was built around the 14th century on top of sandstone rock formations in the fading range of the Pindus Mountains, in the Thessalian lowlands of Greece. At an over 600 meters high, some of them were only accessible by rope ladders or winches for hundreds of years. Depending on the weather, the building formation looks as if it has fallen from the sky or - in case of haze or fog - as if suspended in midair (both represented in the origin of the word). It has always been a source of inspiration and imagination for artists of all kinds, including the 2003 album of the same name by rock mega stars, Linkin Park. Makiko Hirabayashi learned of this place during a concert tour to Athens and was immediately captivated by its symbolic power: the isolated units which nevertheless exist in a larger context; fragile and floating, but at the same time firmly grounded. The opening title of the new, fifth album of her trio seems to have been perfectly chosen; “Warp”, relating to the space above the early monasteries on the rock formations, as well as connecting the album to her previous release Weavers, in which much was woven with warp threads. A high-pitched bass, the subtle use of electronics, like everything else that follows, seem to emerge somehow from outer space. These are seemingely simple structures that only reveal themselves as complex archichtecture upon repeated listening - meditative and fleeting, but at the same time permanently carved into the rock. Minimalistic piano figures from which melodic fragments emerge, in their very clarity offer ample material for improvisation. With onomatopoeic percussion, an impressionistic and scenic painting is sketced in "Birds Ascending", whereas enthralling rhythms lead the way in "Chestnut Alley" or the sky-racing "Meteor". In between those, you find the improvised miniatures like "The Door" or “Slip", as spherical connections between worlds: imaginary doors, rope ladders or hinges. After the lockdown album Weavers, Makiko Hirabayashi is back in the piano trio setting with Klavs Hovman on bass and the legendary percussionist/drummer Marilyn Mazur, reclaiming her space and time. Some of the material produced here has been part of their live repertoire for some years and gone through a maturing process, becoming an intergral part of the whole album put together in the spirit of Meteora.