Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Natsuki Tamura/Satoko Fujii: Muku

Natsuki Tamura (trumpet)
Satoko Fujii (piano)
Muku (Libra Records; 2012)

Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura are improvisers on the same level of exploration as Morton Feldman and Sylvie Courvoisier. Their work together is far-reaching and minimalistic but provide a hidden harmonies that slowly open up to the listener.

Over the span of four albums they have continued to expand on these themes in various ways. On their fifth album Muku, Fujii and Tamura go deeper and further than before.

Muku is a haunting and imaginative mixture of compositional structures. The pieces seem simple on the outset, before growing more complex as you move forward. "Dune And Star" open this passageway with dark, subtle tones from Tamura with suspenseful and palpitating notes provided by Fujii. All this results in a sublime but easily digestible piece experimental chamber music in a duo setting.

"Muku" should give anyone a chill. It quietly creeps inside and might even bring a tear and sense of sadness to you. A ballad that is delicately structured and resonates across the entire session. "Clone" is vibrant but still carries an improvised structure. Fujii has a number rolling hypnotic lines while Tamura lays a palate of diverse hues making it a ferocious ending to very calm, experiment driven journey.

Always challenging Natsuki Tamura and Satoko Fujii once again create a document that can be enjoyed on various levels. While not everyone may like the improvised pieces, there are elements of subtle beauty laid throughout Muku that should make this a richly satisfying experiment for those seeking something different to listen to right now.

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