Doppelkonzert mit dem Zurich Jazz Orchestra
Yumi Ito ist seit Sommer 2021 Hauptfachdozierende Jazz Vocals an der ZHdK. Wir freuen uns außerordentlich, Yumi Ito, wegen der Coronapandemie etwas verspätet, im Rahmen des “Jazz Spectrum” Festivals, musikalisch vorstellen zu dürfen.
What do the video game “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and Joni Mitchell’s album “Hejira” have in common? Both blend, in equal part, elements from an established genre and fresh influences to create a timeless work of art. Equal is the keyword. On their new album Ekual Yumi Ito & Szymon Mika create such a brew. Drawing from the versatility of the voice and strings, the Polish-Japanese Swiss vocal-guitar duo creates a universe of gentle harmonics, haunting chords, intricate melodies and explorative improvisations. No single element is pushed to the fore. Instead, Yumi Ito and Szymon Mika perform as one, like two kindred spirits. This is best reflected in the piece “Minha Flor” which offers the secret garden as an image for the natural retreat buried within ourselves.
“Minha Flor”, “my flower” in Portuguese, sings of vulnerability and fear of demarcation. But it also reminds us that our inner flower lies safe in the depth of our personal sanctuary. Likewise, the song celebrates the joys of nature, of the body, of beauty and sexuality. The harmonics and guitar patterns introducing the piece evoke the gentle rain on a spring forest where life begins to blossom after a harsh winter. By contrast, the plucked chords and wide vocal melodies of “Float and Drift” recall the icy season when nights are long and thoughts are dark. “Data”, at the center of the album, highlights the essence of “Ekual”. Yumi Ito and Szymon Mika imagine an alternative universe devoid of the poisoned climate in today’s politics, society, and nature.
“Ekual” is a call to slow down and reconnect with ourselves and our environment, to fully experience our emotions, to strive for authenticity and honesty. It conveys an impressive spectrum of themes and musical ideas. The resulting fusion, reflected in both sound and concept, contributes to the diversity of the album.