“Traditional melody singing is rare, the voice is more like an element from which the multilayered colourful and often dramatic whole. … again the name of Johanna Sulkunen is a guarantee for attractiveness and high quality.“ Pentti Ronkainen, Suomijazz
“Johanna Sulkunen har lavet et album, der er gådefuldt og mystisk. Der er en dragende stemning, hvor Sulkunen formår at fange os ind som lyttere. Ude fra set er det måske bare en omgang avantgardistisk vokaleksperimenteren. Bruger du tiden på projektet og kommer ind i det, så er det her, der sker noget. Et “noget” der ikke kan eller vil eller skal forklares.”
Niels Overgård. Jazznyt
“ Her new found language and manipulated voice are used as a provocative Kōan. Forcing the listener to adopt a fresh, a deep listening-meditative approach, sometimes even dream state of mind to language and voices.” Eyal Hareuveni. Salt Peanuts.
“Koan that is recorded partly in Japan, Sulkunen has moved far from her excellent previous two albums… Koan invites the listener to be also a questioner and especially to question a way how to listen.” Harri Uusitorppa. Helsingin Sanomat.
It’s so great to be back in Japan! I recorded parts of my solo album here, and now playing a tour with this project feels like some circles are closing. (While some new ones are opening!)
A challenge facing every contemporary artist is to constantly be able to push the status quo that is either associated with their own work or that is accepted as the cultural norm.
Renewing oneself is the task every artist should, in my opinion, take seriously. I took the chance in this project to reach to the unknown, posing questions instead of finding all the answers.
As a parallel to the task of asking questions as a means of renewal, I have used texts – that are in Zen practice known as Kōans – as materials and a source of inspiration. A Kōan is a paradoxical anecdote or riddle without a solution, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and provoke enlightenment.
Voice belongs to everyone and everyone has access to his or her own voice. Voice is inseparable from the body. The body cannot work without the mind and mind cannot work without the body. We use our voices and bodies as the most natural way to connect with each other.
The human voice has a special status among the different ways of producing sound: it is also used as the primary means of communication through language. Our bodies produce small granules of resonances, microtextures, phonemes, that together form larger entities, syllables, words, and sentences. This collective outwards resonance connects our bodies to collectives and societies.
Voice is private in the way that we may not separate it from the person. Voice is always both private and public.
The close collaboration with the visuals is finding new ways of realizing the concerts as well. And it feels great to get The visuals to follow the musical resonances and the idea of microtextures, fragments, and layers. We are developing our co-operation constantly and every concert is a unique experience where the location is also part of the outcome.
After Japan, we go back to my roots… Finland. There is a great festival We Jazz where we play on the 4th of December!
21/11 20000 den-atsu, Tokyo
23/11 Otooto, Tokyo
24/11 Yellow Vision, Tokyo
25/11 Environment Øg, Osaka
26/11 Big Apple, Kobe
27/11 Socrates, Kyoto
4/12 We Jazz Festival, Helsinki
We are so happy to be nominated in two categories for Danish Music Awards!
‘The vocal album of the year 2018’ and ‘A Special Release of the Year 2018’.
We are looking forward to 12th of November at Bremen Theater!
LINK: Nominees for DMARead all news