MATZUMI: Symphony of Silence and Humility (2014)
Updated: Jun 25
“This album is built around passion which allies the Berlin School style to a form of progressive melodious New Age”
1 Symphony Prologue 1:57
2 Calm Down my Heart 8:40
3 The Origin of Life 8:36
4 The Creation 6:17
5 The First Breath 6:47
6 Sublime in Silence 12:46
7 Downfall and Rebirth 9:42
8 The Eternal Struggle 9:58
9 A New Age is Dawning 7:25
(CD/DDL 73:31) (V.F.)
Ah the music of Matzumi! What a delight! What a hearing pleasure! With her very poetic feather and her approach filled of a mixture of sensualism and mysticism, Kathrin Manz manages to amaze the ears and to touch the senses since her great and first album; In Mutatio Tempora in 2012. Ethereal and rather intense by moment, SYMPHONY OF SILENCE AND HUMILITY is an album dedicated to life. An album with an approach as symphonic as cinematographic which depicts the vision of Matzumi about the history of life and its evolution on earth. If the history was repeatedly run, Matzumi approaches it with an innocent coolness that Emilsam Velázquez (the Porto Rican Ron Boots) brings back with some titanic orchestrations to make revive the flames of Vangelis. From its sweet scent of the Middle East and the Persian eras, the music here floats as much in our ears as in our imagination with a musical signature unique to Matzumi, who really has the gift to build dramatic crescendo, in a musical pattern that allies the Berlin School style to a form of progressive New Age. To achieve this very melodic filmic structure Kathrin Manz surrounds herself once again with very experienced musicians (Hellmut Wolf on flutes, Frank Steffen Müller on guitars, Sean O' Bryan Smith on bass and Emilsam Velázquez on orchestrations and on mastering), and whose talents leads SYMPHONY OF SILENCE AND HUMILITY beyond the already very symphonic borders of Bravura Apasionada.
A soft fluty is floating over some fine tribal percussions. The voice of Matzumi roams on Symphony Prologue with ethereal breezes which caress her telling while the slumbering rhythm breathes more and more of its tribal strikings. Slowly, we enter with this sensation to dream in the world of Matzumi. Kathrin Manz's voice is one more string to her arsenal of music equipment. It melts in the ear like that of Irene Papas on the music of Vangelis. She haunts the atmospheres of Calm Down my Heart with ethereal breaths which mold themselves perfectly with the flute of Hellmut Wolf and a small concerto of lonely violins and their long tears which scrape the loneliness. These elements will decorate the ambiences of an album which gently awakens to the music and to the rhythm with the bass of Sean O'Bryan Smith, whose soft pulsations go astray in carillon tingles, and a line of sequences whose organic beat runs towards electronic percussions which strike a musical ride harmonized by a soft dreamy piano. The breezes of Calm Down my Heart float to the atmospheres, as strange as they are philharmonic, of The Origin of Life and its arrhythmic beats which adopt the jerks of metallic breaths. This is an atmospheric title with a very ambivalent rhythm structure which is mainly nourished by indecisive percussion and a bass with coarse coos; two stealth actors which prowl in a carpet of mist and beautiful orchestral arrangements. A gong cuts through the atmospheres and brings us to the very ambient The Creation and its enchanted flute which floats like an outraged witness on a field of desolation. Emilsam Velázquez signs pretty nice orchestrations here with oboe tears which moan in the comforting arms of the violins. Slyly, pulsations invite themselves into the atmospheres and songs of the Arabic flutes. We hear rattlesnakes wandering between our two speakers while very slowly The Creation carries the birth of its rhythm which gallops lazily to The First Breath. Oh, that I have this feeling to hear the divine Lucia Hwong with these violins crying pearly tears. A sequence structure with keys jumping in a spheroidal harmony takes a hold of the very poetic atmospheres of The First Breath. Their anarchic jumps awaken percussions which drummer as much as the shadows of the sequences, alienating the weeping violins in a rhythmic refrain which breaths out in jerky orchestrations and in the violent blows of symphonic percussions.
The ashes of these orchestrations float towards the delicate introduction of Sublime in Silence which invites us to the most intense part of SYMPHONY OF SILENCE AND HUMILITY. The approach is very lyrical with tears piano which dream in the ochred mist of heavenly voices. One feels a subtle start of a dramatic crescendo settling in with airs of violins in suspension as well as some discreet momentums of staccato. Percussions drum an anger under the caresses of violins and oboe while the acoustic guitar of Frank Steffen Müller spreads an approach rather daydreamer on a structure of rhythm always fanciful which reaches a Babylonian peak with an intense and explosive finale. Then come Downfall and Rebirth which adopts the same pattern of based sequence rhythm a la Berlin School and moods lost in airy mist which interlace together and bicker in a theatrical approach as dramatic as strongly melancholic. The Eternal Struggle is doubtless the highlight here with a heavy and mordant rhythm which waves in sung winds and a charming pattern of percussions. Still there, the orchestrations are superb and remind some of Vangelis' heavy passages. This heavy and wild rhythmic ride ends in a surprising very theatrical conclusion with A New Age is Dawning where the acoustic guitar calls out to some ambient winds before singing into some dramatic orchestrations which are the privilege of an album as attractive as these tales about the 1001 Arabic nights of our childhoods. A story in music where we literally see the images is the sign of a carefully orchestrated album, an album written and made with passion and with a musical poetry which touches and moves. The flesh and the bones; the music and the orchestrations of SYMPHONY OF SILENCE AND HUMILITY.
Sylvain Lupari (June 30th, 2014) *****
Available at Matzumi Music