30 Nisan 2016 Cumartesi

Into the Silence: A gift from a grief

Grief is mostly painful and it takes time to overcome its misery. However, there are some talented names who turn such a sorrow into a unique artistic expression. Into the Silence is a set of reflections on the death of Avishai Cohen’s father – often solemn but never dirgey, and beautifully recorded. Cohen composed the melodies over six months following his father's passing in November 2014, inspired by an album of Rachmaninoff's solo piano music. Cohen says "The title of the song and album refers to the silence of absence, the way you see pictures of someone who is gone but you don't really hear them in your life anymore."

Cohen's muted sound on the melancholy opening ballad "Life And Death" establishes the tone of the album from the start (including the unexpected double-time coda, a sign of the compositional thought behind the seemingly loose ensemble sound). Hence the reflective mood, and a nice ambiguity in that title. Does Into the Silence refer to the move from life to death, or to sounds pitched into the silence that follows it? Perhaps both. The slow opener, Life and Death, does sound like a threnody. The composer’s trumpet is a model of heartfelt expression throughout. One finely controlled moment can stand for many. As the last phrases of the penultimate piece, Behind the Broken Glass, approach, Cohen, his trumpet’s clear tones leading the mourners again, suddenly thins and softens his timbre for the closing few notes, as a eulogist might who can only just get the words out. Simple, fleeting, and deeply affecting.

After all, it is not a surprise to find Cohen offering this emotinal work that fits so squarely with what is usually identified as the ECM aesthetic. And here is a beautiful contemporary music for just  anyone.

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