- Release Date 2015-11-20
- Label Pingipung
- Catalog PP48
The South Japanese archipelago of Okinawa has seen quite a turbulent past. Anciently attached to the Chinese kingdom and then torn between Japan and America in the context of World War II, their complex history has resulted in an exceptionally rich music tradition through the centuries. With the influence of American culture during the US army occupation of the islands, the Okinawan started mixing traditional songs with Western music styles. In Japan Okinawan music is now considered as a genre of its own.
"I'm fascinated by the sublime simplicity and precision of Okinawan Music, from the orchestration to the phrasing of the singing voice", says Sven Kacirek. This album offers intimate insights into both Sven Kacireks art of composition and the outstanding sonic heritage of instrumental and vocal techniques in Okinawa. In its gentle style, with asymmetrical chord progressions and highly dynamic volume proportions, "Songs From Okinawa" challenges our listening habits and develops its strength in the gaps and pauses.
"My goal was to add something new to traditional japanese music without banishing the ghosts of the old songs." states Sven Kacirek. It is an artistic approach similar to his previous "The Kenya Sessions", where he juxtaposed musicians whom he had met and recorded in villages in Kenya with his own drumming and composition. The main difference is that, this time Sven Kacirek has completely maintained the basic arrangements of the recorded songs.
With "Songs from Okinawa" Sven Kacirek returns to Pingipung, after releasing some records on famous imprints like Honest Jon's, Bureau B or Naive. The comprehensive liner-notes of the release give further information about the musical culture of Okinawa, the recording sessions and the lyrics of the songs.
Concerts with musicians from Okinawa are currently being prepared. Recently Sven Kacirek has already been touring extensively. He plays concerts with collaborators as diverse as Nils Frahm, Ogoya Nengo or Hauschka. For November 2015, a gig with Shabaka Hutchings (Sons Of Kemet) is scheduled as well as a european tour together with John McEntire (Tortoise) and Stefan Schneider.