Yugen – Tears and Light

Tears and Light” is the new recording project of the Salentinian trio Yugen.

The trio was born in 2020 and includes Katya Fiorentino (piano), Stefano Compagnone (bass) and Maurizio De Tommasi (drums)

Katya Fiorentino
Stefano Compagnone
Stefano Compagnone
Maurizio De Tommasi
Maurizio De Tommasi

The sound range of the trio develops a playful concept of space and time. Cyclic, rhythmic and melodic cells are mixed with wide sound expansion, from which an horizontal conception of the band emerges, where each musical instrument is always the protagonist of the song performed: a floating sound landscape (or soundscape), evanescent, sometimes intimate or abstract but still rich and multifaceted, through an aesthetic research of contemporary European jazz avant-gardes, which has its roots in the tradition of the Scandinavian countries. An essential but at the same time colourful language, a continuous search for refined and original solutions timbre, themes with a strong melodic mark, improvisation and total freedom of expression are the essential features of the trio. Yugen represents an invite to listen, both to others and to themselves, is an invitation to make an individual experience became collective. In line with the musical style, the choice of the trio is to perform exclusively in museums, cultural associations, festival, historical or art places. In some tracks of the album, the trio is joined by Valerio Daniele (guitar), Giorgio Distante (trumpet) and Francesco Massaro (electronica).

«Goethe said that “Architecture is frozen music”. Therefore, music is architecture», Davide Ielmini writes in the liner notes. «This trio knows it well, being able to use an emotionally divergent but compact language, in which, between the vigorous and the bold, there are reflective (“Sheets From Afar”) but never light tones. Through its disarming sonic purity, Yugen combines sound transfiguration of contemporaneity in an epic storytelling, in which the dichotomies of feelings, always as fleeting as this music sometime is, pour into the dichotomies of the sound: on one hand, Giorgio Distante’s trumpet in “If You Want” (melodic and vertical), on the other, Valerio Daniele’s guitar in “Tears and Light” (burning and corrosive). Themeaning of this first work is in the Japanese name of the trio, which indicates something “slightly dark” and mysterious as the shadows are. Because what you don’t know is what really matters», the pianist, journalist and music critic continues. «The musical logic (the constructive technique) manages to get these results because it never forgets to be illogical (the emotional aspect). So, it is by its very nature changeable. That’s why the trio tracks are circles that don’t want to close: they have a beginning but may not have an end (the kaleidoscope “Interludio/Picture #1”). Sometimes inspired by two models of progressive jazz –the Americans Bad Plus and the Swiss NikBärtsch – the trio finds in the musical design of the obstinate the right stylistic anchor, in which writing, improvisation and interpretation are all daughters of an undisputed expressive freedom. Of the two definitions that Bärtsch coined for his music, Ritual Groove (the other one is Zen Funk) is particularly suitable for this route, where the metronomic rhythm, that guides the cyclic rhythmic cells, has the dual role of holding and releasing. Changing to the borders of hypnosis, these songs – sometimes carrying a feeling of “dynamic calm” with a pervasive melodic imprint – follow the principles of repetition and reduction through the horizontal interplay process. In which the collective is a unity divided into three».




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