Ok, also other groups build bridges over the most different kinds of music from jazz across classical to minimal music. The Merje Kägu Ensemble distinguishes itself from these groups, at least on When Silence Falls, by a surprisingly independent, consistently executed crossover of deeply meditative gait. Large portions of the sometimes quite long titles are characterized by the fact that almost nothing happens, apart from the hesitant exchange of preferably only two instruments of brief musical ideas. This leads one to believe that time is standing still until one is surprisingly caught in a fairway in which the calm, sparse dialogue becomes the polyphonic, almost spirited entertainment of all members of the ensemble.
If one is confronted with When Silence Falls out of our quite hectic way of life, the first minutes are frightened away by the enormous silence that suddenly collapses on one. The meditative power of the quiet stream of music surprisingly quickly overcomes the urge to get out of the calm meditative stream and engage in something more exciting. This is owed to the cleverly threaded and cleverly spun out fabric of composed and improvised music in each title, which the Merje Kägu Ensemble produces in an imaginative way over long stretches as a compulsion of alternating instrumentation and colourfulness. That captures and demands more. In this respect, When Silence Falls is nothing less than an addictive substance that is not harmful to health and that demands the full attention of the junkies for a good hour.
Merje Kägu, spritius rector and guitarist of the ensemble she founded two years ago from an international group of musicians, explains her motivation to realize and perform the album When Silence Falls with the following statement:
“With combinations of jazz, classical and minimalist elements I aimed to create a world of melodic colours as well as allow space for an intimate storytelling voice to speak. There’s an atmospheric drift to the music which subtly contrasts and combines the soulful interpretations and improvisations. I like to create and play music that bridges the gap between composed and improvised music, smoothly transitioning from one to the other. This fluid style creates a personal and intimate connection with other musicians. A reflective approach is central to my artistry.”
The magic of this superbly recorded album is hard to resist. A deprivation is under no circumstances appropriate, since it would mean the loss of an experience that enriches the life of everyone seriously interested in music with a new world of sound.
Merje Kägu, guitar
Anders Jormin, double bass
Jesse Ojajärvi, drums
Åsa B. Johansson, violin, voice
Leonor Palazzo, cello
Marina Cyrino, flute
Blanca Sans Ballart, oboe, English horn