PJEV, Kit Downes, Hayden Chisholm, Medna Roso, Red Hook ****

An extraordinary choral, saxophone, pipe organ work recorded at Cologne's neogothic Catholic Agneskirche 18 months ago. The work relishes a process of transformation by crossing from both the temporal and spiritual spheres into an entirely other …

Published: 26 Apr 2023. Updated: 12 months.

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An extraordinary choral, saxophone, pipe organ work recorded at Cologne's neogothic Catholic Agneskirche 18 months ago. The work relishes a process of transformation by crossing from both the temporal and spiritual spheres into an entirely other worldly dimension.

Think of the way the Hilliard Ensemble and Jan Garbarek leapt the centuries and successfully collided the relative modernity of the saxophone into ancient monastic choral traditions on Officium and Mnemosyne in the 1990s.

But instead by some way of contrast Medna Roso, which introduces Zagreb based microtonal New Zealand saxophonist Hayden Chisholm, who also utilises the sound of the Indian bellows instrument the shruti box among his array of contributions, is in collaboration with the PJEV choir. Very still and often lament laden rising up from the fearful rumble of a great Rieger 3-manual pipe organ Kit Downes is a stately presence - think Keith Jarrett on 1970s album Hymns/Spheres.

Directed by Jovana Lukic this Zagreb a cappella 5 piece ensemble - whose members are also Zvezdana Ostojic, Gloria Lindeman, Lana Hosni and Julijana Lesic - sing the ancient and often deeply moving music of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Downes' work builds on a template set on Wedding Music, the Norwich now Berlin based musician's album with Huddersfield's Tom Challenger.

  • Medna Roso is out on 5 May. 'Listaj goro ne žali be’ara' is streaming. PJEV, main picture, and with Hayden Chisholm, above; Kit Downes top. Photos: Niclas Weber

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Komeda mural unveiled in Kraków

Kraków is now home to an evocative mural dedicated to the memory of the great pianist and jazz composer Krzysztof Komeda who lived in the historic Polish city, a cradle of art, science and culture, from 1956-61. Unveiled on Mikołaja Kopernika …

Published: 26 Apr 2023. Updated: 12 months.

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Kraków is now home to an evocative mural dedicated to the memory of the great pianist and jazz composer Krzysztof Komeda who lived in the historic Polish city, a cradle of art, science and culture, from 1956-61.

komeda

Unveiled on Mikołaja Kopernika Street 54 years after the ''patron saint of jazz'' in Poland as Komeda is often referred to died at just 38, Professor Artur Jurczyszyn from the Centre for the Treatment of Plasma Cell Dyscrasias at the Faculty of Medicine of the Jagiellonian University was one of the founders of the wall art initiative.

Komeda (real name Krzysztof Trzciński) was also an ENT doctor by profession, and Kopernika Street down the years has long been associated with medicine, with clinics historically located there. The mural is by Kamil Kuzko from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków and depicts Komeda with both a medical stethoscope and a piano.