When pianist Izumi Kimura encountered the music of Barry Guy and Gerry Hemingway - two titans in the contemporary and improvised music scene - she was compelled to reach out for collaboration, with a strong and intuitive belief. She invited each musician to perform duo concerts in 2017, followed by the trio project in 2018. Three musicians started the collaborative music making on a bright, crisp morning in February 2018, in Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Monaghan, Ireland, where they rehearsed for three days.

Their first trio concert on February 22nd, 2019, in St. Ann’s Church, Dublin, Ireland was recorded by Adrian Hart. The live recording is released by the Listen Foundation (Warsaw) under the title 'Illuminated Silence'.

The short documentary about the days in Monaghan and the concert in Dublin was directed and produced by Cormac Larkin (Hatch 21 Productions), Director of Photography, Piaras Mac Cionnaith



Interview with Izumi Kimura


Performed and recorded in February 2018 in St. Ann’s Church, Dublin, Ireland, the disc was released in January 2019. Still, I can predict in February 2019 that this is going to be one of the best piano trio albums of the year 2019. It is so good, that is hard to imagine something better. But, of course, the competitions does not sleep: Wiktor Oleszak, Elisabeth Harnik, Jordina Milla, Eva Risser, Kaja Draksler, Irene Aranda, Megumi Yonezawa, and last but not least Marco Mezquida, who is truly very serious about recording free improvised music!

"Illuminated Silence", obviously, reminds me of those records of Barry Guy that, in short, are less free improvised, but more beautiful. These, surely, include the records of the Aurora trio with Agustí Fernández and Ramón López, or the "Homer" series with Marilyn Crispell and Paul Lytton. At the same time it is very different. The Aurora trio clearly is dominated by the Mallorca-Catalunya-Spanish roots of Agustí. The "Homer" trio is more abstract, and perhaps more focused on the true literary inspiration. Here, the music seem to be "more simple", but in reality it is not. This incredible album starts with "Intro", with amazing lines by Barry. "Blue Horizon" is a ballad of extra-terrestrial beauty. "Improvisations on the Painting" are also marvelous - the bass and drums entries are truly incredible. "The Willow Tree Cannot Be Broken By The Snow" is another ballad of the infinitely beautiful dimension. "Improvisation on Light and Shadow" are based, as I understand, on the wonderful poem from Sandokai by Sekitō Kisen (700-790):

In the light there is darkness,
but don't take it as darkness;
In the dark there is light,
but don't see it as light.
Light and dark oppose one another
like front and back foot in walking.

"Ancients" is perhaps the most "traditional" track, reminding me, at least in the initial parts, of Bobo
Stenson or... RGG. "How To Go Into A Room You Are Already In" is a masterpiece of quiet, frugal and modest playing. An absolutely wonderful piece of outstandingly beautiful music. On the closing "Finding it" we return back the aesthetics of Cecil Taylor and Ornette Coleman, reworked carefully for the XXIst century. Amazing stuff, amazing album, amazing music!!! As a whole, not comparable to anything I know.
(Maciej Lewenstein)


ILLUMINATED SILENCE Listen Foundation FSR01/2019