Somnambule - Writing About Music

Natsuki Tamura: Solo ~ Ko Ko Ko Ke

Tamura is only credited with trumpet on the cd cover so it’s rather a surprise to encounter a voice singing patient, almost weary syllables which is succeeded by unaccompanied trumpet, then voice again, and so on: each element balancing the other. This alternating pattern establishes a template from which there is little structural divergence. Variation is found in the voice which appears to articulate a number of different characters (an angry golem, an elderly peasant and so on) and the calm, deliberate melodies traced by Tamura’s trumpet. Listening is like witnessing the negotiation of a gentle, polyglot ritual invaded occasionally by surreal strangeness. The cd cover bears eery, blurred images of a figure walking from darkness toward a brightly lit room: the impression of both imagery and music is somewhat reminiscent of a gnomic scene from a David Lynch film. Though Ko Ko Ko Ke might be interpreted as a study in what is innate and what is instrumental, ultimately this singular music refuses to be reduced to the purely rational. Consider filing beside Arve Henriksen’s Sakuteiki in the section ‘strange flights of beguiling imagination’.
Colin Buttimer
April 2004
Published by Jazzwise magazine