For an album filled with gems of the Great American Songbook, it is telling that the songs that mostly stand out are Tamara Kuldin’s original compositions. ‘Maisie’s song’ in particular, has all it takes to become a modern classic – a sweet, catchy melody; simple, honest lyrics; a warm, compelling delivery by a vocalist at the top of her game.
“The best part of being in Koi Kingdom is how open and free each member is with each other’s compositions. The foundations lie in the players that we are, so you hear heaps of Marcos’ signature whammy sound and b9 chords, Cheryl’s rhythmic and sometimes atonal blowing and Stephen’s songlike phrasing and free-blowing grooves.”
“All songs have to do with Tides and emotions rolling in and out and finding our balance and equilibrium in the face of all the waves that keep crashing on our shores.”
“I love the power of the piano to convey emotion and narrative using all those elements, so when I perform solo piano my energy is much more inwardly focused on narrating and telling the story of the music.”
“I want to write and perform music which inspires and challenges me, the other musicians, and the audience. I think that has stayed the same and hope that we can achieve this on some level.”
“My favourite moment to date was the first time SHAYAN played as a seven-piece. It wasn’t about playing a festival, or the people in the crowd, but about hearing the compositions played live for the first time by these incredible players. There is something so special about hearing the dots on the page turn into actual music, especially when it is played by great musicians.”
” We don’t confine ourselves to particular genres, or traditional interpretations of genres, and we don’t pre-determine too much about the music. All of us love pop, and have listened to loads in our time on the planet. And Brazilian tunes creep in because I find it hard to omit these from any setlist I’m involved in! Aside from that, Stoneflower creates a very gentle, magical sonic palette that doesn’t attempt to prove anything to listeners.”
“The music on this [‘Without Within’] should be very accessible to uninitiated jazz audiences, as well as hopefully having something there of deeper musical interest. I tried to use mood and emotion as a guide for the compositions, just like a pop song writer might,” says saxophonist Richard Pavlidis.
Elysian Fields is a seamless combination of old and new, composed and improvised, experimental and planned, intuitive and calculated. The result is like a thick winter blanket: warm and beautiful.
“In Bridge of Dreams, the collaboration between myself, Shubha and Aneesh was at the core of the creative process. I am not in any way expert in Hindustani music – they are! They generously share their knowledge, are willing to experiment, trust, take risks, and allow me to use my instincts to shape and recontextualise the musical materials they offer. “