“Upflight of butterflies following a light, that wants to conquer, to swallow, to distant, to echo.”
Following 2010’s release of the Kitchen. Label classic “sketch”, ironomi returns with their long awaited seventh album, a 3 CD 164 minutes collection entitled ‘niji’ (English Translation: Rainbow). Joining pianist Junya Yanagidaira and programmer Yu Isobe are a stellar line-up of their most loved collaborators and contemporaries Zinovia Arvanitidiries. In ‘niji’, the record is marked by the same tranquility and fleetingness of their sound but also offers a slight departure from the traditions of ironomi’s previous recordings with the addition of other instruments (Saxophone, Contrabass, Koto, Violins etc) contributed by the guest musicians on each of the 12 tracks – Featuring Nobuyuki Nakajima, Jyoji Sawada (Choro Club) as well as members of the Kitchen. Label family Aspidistrafly, haruka nakamura, ARAKI Shin, Akira Uchida, Rie Nemoto among many others.
ironomi has a sound which is almost enigmatic to describe. One could listen to their albums on an ambient level and just let the music flow through. Or one could listen closer and find a detail in the sound that is intricate and palatable. ironomi’s impressionistic ripples of piano fragments generate the cumulative feel of a gently flowing river or the shifting play of light through the leaves of trees. ironomi is like nature, a sound of nature that has existed from the beginning and free from any judgement.
The duo’s music is distinctively less about conventional compositional structure than it is about the creating and sustain of mood. For each of the recordings in ‘niji’, improvised sessions were recorded and the best takes were kept intact with very minimal post production. The works showcase ironomi’s capacity to construct compelling music in real-time, their melodic-harmonic imagination as an improviser and ability to consistently find and shape new forms with each of their collaborators also sharing the same strong sense for the dialectics of sound and silence. A wishful charm imbues this entire recording of pieces which, though not written together, seem to have been predestined for each other in this album.
The latest album is highlighted by almost 40 minutes worth of music recorded together with haruka nakamura on classical guitar, whom he had spent his early formative years touring and collaborating with the duo on numerous occasions. In the collaboration with April Lee and Ricks Ang of Aspidistrafly, voices are striving to be heard and a song was unexpectedly born from the improvisational session. The result is perhaps the most strongly lyrical piece of ironomi’s releases to date.