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Kimura, Izumi / Gerry Hemingway: Kairos (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

After their trio album Illuminated Silence with bassist Barry Guy, Japanese-born, Irish-based pianist Izumi Kimura and US drummer/percussionist Gerry Hemingway living in Switzerland distill their improvisations into these deeply personal, highly concentrative and masterful dialogs, in five spontaneous compositions, one work from each performer, and a traditional work.

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product information:

UPC: 5904441617320

Label: Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!)
Catalog ID: 07/2023
Squidco Product Code: 33492

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Poland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Tracks 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8 recorded in Luzern, Switzerland, on August 13th and 14th, 2022; tracks 3, 5 and 6 recorded at the National Concert Hall, in Dublin, Ireland, on May 17th, 2022 by Ian Dowdall.


Izumi Kimura-piano

Gerry Hemingway-drums, marimba, vibraphone, voice

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Kairos is the new release from Izumi Kimura and Gerry Hemingway. Kimura is a pianist, originally from Japan, but now residing in Ireland. She has released several recordings, notably with contrabassist Barry Guy, trumpet player Artur Majewski (Vasco Trilla, Foton Quartet), and drummers Ramon Lopez and Gerry Hemingway. Much of Kimura's work focuses on the subject of time.

Kimura has worked with Hemingway (Anthony Braxton, Leo Smith, Mark Helias, Michael Moore, Cecil Taylor, and more) since 2016, and on this album, he contributes drums, marimba, vibes, and vocals.

Kairosis an intriguing and intensely interesting album because two percussive instruments - albeit one with the added dimension of strings struck by hammers - are melded in musical exploration and this duo has forged an effervescent and deeply engaging partnership, the percussive and string elements entwining to create a world of explorative and colourful music.

Kimura explores composition and improvisation. With a curiosity about the unknown, unseen worlds and questions about cultural beliefs, attitudes, and languages through the medium of improvisation, her techniques combine essences from jazz, classical, and Japanese cultures. As a musician who is not defined by any single genre, Kimura has played with musicians from classical, jazz, and improvised music. She has worked in different formats, from large groups to small ensembles. Just a few include RTE Symphony Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, Michael d'Arcy, Mia Cooper, Benjamin Dwyer, Gerald Barry, Kevin O'Connell, Ian Wilson, Fergus Johnston, Barry Guy, Ronan Guilfoyle, Michael Buckley, Oki Itaru, Dominique Pifarély, Benoît Delbecq, Stéphane Payen, Marco Colonna, Lina Andonovska, Mathew Jacobson, Nick Roth and more, musicians from the classical, jazz, and improvised music worlds. Her performances have included festivals and projects in Ireland, Belgium, Brazil, Poland, and many other countries.

Kairos demonstrates that music can link effortlessly across time, genres, and any preconceptions in the hands of the right performers. An intriguing track is the opening number, 'Dendrochronology'. Dendrochronology is the science of looking back through wood and tree rings and counting the years, observing the different climates, and the changes that have occurred because tree rings show these-a journey through time by observations if you will. You can even see which type of pollen was prevalent at the time of each ring so a seemingly simple thing tells you much more than you might think. Here 'Dendrochronology' is something of a discovery. Every nuanced phrase depicts a slight change and offers a different way of hearing music, from dense, layered sections to lengthy, echoey profound moments, the piece seeming to depict the changes of time itself. Even the silences seem calculated and meaningful.

This album, from the eerie prescience of 'Dendrochronology' to the quirky, rhythmic changes of 'Water Thief', feels like effortlessly segued intonations depicting moments or brief periods within time, that offer differences and adaptations. For example, 'Water Thief' begins with predictable patterns before it develops into a multi-layered crescendo of stratified sounds, patterns, and entwined rhythms that ebb and flow, chop, and change as the track develops, echoing the changes that occur within time. Initially, you might think you know what to expect but you never do.

Then there are the rippling riffles and answers of 'Chronostrata' - literally, 'layers of time' with both percussive instruments conversing and the gentle, easiness of 'Cloud Echoes' and 'Over The Tide'. The beautifully balanced Kairos explores interchanging rhythms and delicate patterns, intertwined with heavy, ponderous guttural notes, countered by delicate percussive responses.

In Ancient Greek, Kairos means 'opportune' or 'perfect time'; the timing is all and how apt that this album is created around different time patterns and changing responses from either musician that stimulates a reactive phrase in the other.

This album has both delicacy and temporal heaviness as time itself seems to be changed, twisted, and reconstructed to become something else, dictated by the changeable patterns of the piano and percussion. Of intense interest is how the musicians communicate change and phrasing appears changed and different, yet the rhythmic basic remains continuous on most tracks - like time itself, it stops for no one and continues regardless of the changes we might introduce across the top - the time itself is relentless, unstoppable, like this music.

There are just eight tracks on the album. Five are duo improvisations, there is one track composed by each musician and one traditional song, and the latter three are largely improvised. This recording successfully unites classical and improvisation elements, doused with off-kilter and related rhythms over the continuum of time, in equal measure. This creates something of an ongoing conversation, even though it is via the very different mediums of percussive sounds on immovable vibrating solids objects versus percussive hampers on strings, with the echoes, and dampened notes thrown in. It demonstrates how beautiful communication can be with very different elements and also how wonderful combining different techniques and approaches can be -something we can perhaps all learn.

A delightful and inspiring recording. If you haven't already, take a listen - it is about time."-Sammy Stein, Platinum Mind

Get additional information at Platinum Mind

Artist Biographies

Izumi Kimura, piano: "As a contemporary pianist, I am attracted to the things that live in the cracks between composed and improvised music. Between abstract and concrete, variations of the forms the Nature takes, our roles, cultures, languages, attitudes, things unknown, things in between, invisibles and inaudibles, all these things are vibrations I try to listen, through the act of playing the piano.

I was born in Yokohama, Japan, and have been playing the piano since I was little and the whole time I spent in Japan, which was up to 1995. As soon as I graduated from Toho University of Music in Tokyo I moved to Ireland. It took a long time and some turbulence of life before my music and life started to grow together. Very slowly, life and music started becoming intertwined with each other, and they are becoming one.

I have been lucky to work with lots of great musicians and wonderful people from both classical and jazz/improvised music fields. Musicians and ensembles I worked with include RTECO, Crash Ensemble, Ergodos, Music 21, Michael d'Arcy, Bill Dowdall, Kenneth Edge, Ben Dwyer, Cora Venus Lunny and many more from the world of classical music, and Ronan Guilfoyle, Barry Guy, Gerry Hemingway, Tommy Halferty, Michael Buckley, Dominique Pifarély, Benoît Delbecq, Stéphane Payen, Sarah Buechi and many more from the world of jazz/improvised music. The festivals I enjoyed performing in Ireland and abroad include RTE Living Music Festival, Boyle Arts Festival, Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin Fringe Festival, Bray Jazz Festival, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ghent Street Festival of New Music in Belgium, Music 21's 'Brazil Now', 'Artes Da Irlanda' in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and Creative Connexions in Sitges, Spain, and many more."

-Izumi Kimura Website (

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"Gerry Hemingway has led a number of quartet and quintets since the mid 1980's. In addition he has been a member of a wide array of long standing collaborative groups including Brew with Reggie Workman and Miya Masaoka, the GRH trio with Georg Graewe and Ernst Reijseger, the WHO trio with Michel Wintsch and Bänz Oester, as well as numerous duo projects with Thomas Lehn, John Butcher, Ellery Eskelin, Marilyn Crispell, and others. Mr. Hemingway is a Guggenheim fellow and has received numerous commissions for chamber and orchestral works as well as being noted for his innovative and multifaceted work as a solo performer which began in 1974. He was a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet between 1983 and 1994 and is also well known for his collaborations with some of the world's most outstanding improvisers and composers including Evan Parker, Cecil Taylor, Mark Dresser, Anthony Davis, Derek Bailey, Leo Smith and many others. He currently lives in Switzerland having joined the faculty of the Hochschule Luzern in 2009."

-Gerry Hemingway Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Dendrochronology 5:46

2. Water Thief 4:44

3. Day Into Night 10:14

4. Chronostrata 2:11

5. Cloud Echoes 7:29

6. Kairos 5:15

7. Over The Tide 6:08

8. Circadian Twilight 1:02

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Duo Recordings
Piano & Keyboards
Percussion & Drums
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