SIRKIS/BIALAS IQ – Our New Earth
ASAF SIRKIS / SYLWIA BIALAS
FRANK HARRISON / KEVIN GLASGOW
Liner notes by Bill Bruford
After 7 album sessions on MoonJune Records (2 albums with Dwiki Dharmawan, 2 with Mark Wingfield, 2 with Markus Reuter & Mark Wingfield, 1 with Dusan Jevtovic, and other 6 coming out in 2020), the extraordinary talented Israeli born and London UK based drummer ASAF SIRKIS, has finally landed as a leader at the MoonJuniverse.
. “Our New Earth” is a profoundly brilliant, delicate, evocative interaction with all things musically creative, being birthed in the most organic fashion. Perhaps it’s ‘the essence of jazz’, or ‘creativity’ itself, but this performance definitely captures something studio albums rarely do. The music pours out from their souls. There is a “nothing to prove” collective attitude at work … very special music … almost a reverence to the musical moments which present themselves … supreme …
Drummer-led groups have traditionally been associated with fireworks and bombast rather than Olympian levels of creativity. But with Asaf Sirkis behind the kit we are in safe hands. In his depiction, the creative performance requires the music to be reduced, focused and “taken to the next level”. Anything superfluous to the expression is jettisoned; technical concerns evaporate as individual performance is seamlessly connected to the whole in the interpretive moment. His idea that “you don’t play what you practiced anymore” neatly describes the creative approach of the expert jazz musicians you hear on this album. Sirkis’ co-leader in the International Quartet is the equally creative Sylwia Bialas. Both musicians bring individual but complimentary compositional and performance approaches. Rather than go the ‘singer-plus-band route’, Sylwia is here completely integrated as the fourth instrumentalist. – from the liner notes by Bill Bruford
The SIRKIS/BIALAS IQ is an on-going band, established in 2014 consisting of four unique musical personalities bringing their individuality and working together as a team to create new explorative-forward-looking music. The new album explores many different colours on the emotional spectrum, using some rarely used instruments in jazz such as the church organ, waterphone, crotales, konnakol, and different vocal sounds.
With an emphasis on band interaction and sheer joy of playing, ‘Our New Earth’ celebrates music from both Asaf Sirkis and Sylwia Bialas, covering a wide range of influences such as contemporary classical music, Polish folk, Progressive rock, South Indian and Middle Eastern musics as well as a wide range of dynamics – from the most delicate ballad all the way to high-energy electric lines and everything in between; expect soulful melodies, aerospheric sounds with strong grooves, a full colour electroacoustic jazz with an ethnic touch and some uncommonly used instruments and sou
nd effects. Although Sirkis/Bialas IQ’s music can sometimes be generically referred to as ‘vocal jazz’, Sylwia’s approach to singing is different; making the role of the voice more like an instrument rather then a lead.
“I truly feel no need to take the central spot on stage (as a singer is often expected to). I am tremendously fulfilled in being part of the band, contributing to its sound, adding different colours, sharing the joy of interacting and taking risks together. There’s no greater satisfaction for me than to stand ‘inside the band’, listening to the sound created by my fellow musicians at its source, watching their body language. I feel very happy and thankful that both audience and critics recognise and accept my personal approach.” – Sylwia Bialas
‘Our New Earth’ is the second album from the Sirkis/Bialas IQ. In comparison to the band’s debut album – ‘Come To Me’ – this album is edgier, darker, full of tension and dissonance sound textures.
In the words of Sirkis and Bialas: “The message behind Our New Earth is reflecting the drastic changes we are currently experiencing individually and collectively world-wide with the prevailing of technology, social media, and many other issues. We’d like to offer this music as a reflection, a wish of reconnection with nature and a kind of a prayer in music for a better world for all of us and hence the name ‘Our New Ea
rth’”. “On the evidence of this concert, ‘Our New Earth’ from ‘Our New Earth’ should help further establish the quartet as one of the most interesting of contemporary jazz ensembles. With music this uplifting, so sensitively and passionately rendered, it`s hard not to be seduce”. – Ian Patterson, All About Jazz
This album is a result of collective love, devotion to music and a very special musicianship. We would like to dedicate this album to our planet in the hope for a better future for all of us… Big thanks to Leonardo ‘MoonJune’ to Pavkovic for his support and idealistic approach in caring for music & artists. Bill Bruford for being an inspiration, for taking time and putting his effort in listening to our music & writing the liner notes for this album. Many thanks to all of the people who contributed to making this album happen. Special thanks to Chris Reiss for his incredible work,sensitive ears and friendship. Thanks to Alex Klebl for putting the cherry on the top of our cake. Thanks to Frank Harrison & Kevin Glasgow for their creativity, sensitivity and for making it easy to enjoy every gig we play together. Thanks to Peter Phippen & Victoria Shoemaker for their support in translating the polish poems into english. Thanks to Harald Mayer for putting the final touch on the cover artwork, to Sławek Janus for creating our waterphone.
Asaf Sirkis endorses: Istanbul Agop Cymbals, Remo Drumheads & Vic Firth Sticks.
SIRKIS/BIALAS TOUR DATES in the UK
OCTOBER 18 – Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford
OCTOBER 19 – Teignmouth Heritage, Centre Teignmouth Jazz & Blues Festival
NOVEMBER 14 – Kings Hall, Newcastle University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
NOVEMBER 29 – 1000 Trades, Birmingham
DECEMBER 1 – Hotel Hatfield, Esplanade, Lowestoft
DECEMBER 2 – Kenilworth Rugby Football Club, Kenilworth
DECEMBER 4 – The Queens Head, Monmouth
DECEMBER 5 – Widcombe Social Club, Bath
DECEMBER 6 – The Wakes, Theatre Square, Oakengates
DECEMBER 7 – Speakeasy, The Left Bank Village, Hereford
DECEMBER 8 – The Hermon Jazz & Folk, The Hermon, Hermon Chapel, Oswestry
JANUARY 14 – Bedfords Bar, Norwich
JANUARY 16 – Cambridge University Centre Wine Bar
JANUARY 21 – Jane Austen Suite, The Dolphin Hotel, Southampton
JANUARY 31 – The Royal & Derngate Underground, Northampton
FEBRUARY 25 – Surrey University, Stag Hill, Guildford GU2 7XH