'Resonance' features Janne Tuomi on solo percussion, recorded at the Church of Kuhmalahti, with all pieces composed by Tuomi. This is all acoustic percussion music and it is superbly recorded. This music is closer to classical percussion music in its sound and it is consistently thoughtful and engaging. On Kunlun I, Janne concentrates on just a gong and comes up with some impressive and mysterious results. A most impressive offering from a young master-percussionist that we ill be hearing more from in the near future.
Bruce Lee Gallanter
Downtown Music Gallery
...There are nine tracks and the order presents a nice package of contrasting textures and styles. Included in this collection are three short works that feature various cymbal and tam-tam combinations, and it is interesting how the sub-tones of tam-tams take on a drone effect. The drum pieces contain rhythmic passages, but the writing style has a very free and spaced mood, thus taking on a feeling of improvisation.. ..The recording level is excellent, and the performance demonstrates the artist's sensitivity and technical skill. This CD will be of interest to those wanting to experience percussion from Switzerland
I really don't understand this album. I found it in the jazz section of my local library, and expected something of that sort. Jazz drumming would've kept me interested, seeing as I've really loved the few drum solos I've experienced. But what I got instead is... indescribeable. It's certainly a creative use of percussion, making sounds that a drum set normally wouldn't produce. Kunlun I can only be identified as ambient, which I'd never imagined to hear on a solo percussion album.
Over the last five years, Finnish percussionist Janne Tuomi has convincingly occupied several strikingly different musical worlds. He's collaborated with John Zorn on his notoriously complex performance-only piece Cobra; he's played drums with Finnish neo-Krautrock unit Circle, on their 2007 album Arkades; and he's appeared as a symphony orchestra soloist with Minoru Miki's Z-Concerto. Unsurprisingly, his solo work -captured on his 2004 debut, Approaching, and the follow-up, Resonance - has combined a number of approaches including free jazz, drone and contemporary classical. With this latest, he adds a thick layer of electronic effects and multitracking, which allow solo percussion to explore rich new worlds through two long pieces.
The title track sets up an insistent cymbal-crash rhythm that quickly settles into a backround of white noise. Tuomi adds layers of contrasting timbres - rumbling tympani, shrieking cymbal scrapes and finally a brawny, free workout at the drum kit - but throughout attention is repeatedly drawn to the dubwise manipulations of the background. Tweaked so that it appears near then far, sharp then muffled, it creates a queasy exercise in perspective, as if the floor were repeatedly dropping out from under your feet, to be replaced by another, then another. The slightly shorter suo is a more meditative piece with gongs and rattles put through thick reverb and making a voluptuous yet alien soundworld that fleshes out ideas put forward nearly 50 years ago by Sun Ra's Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy. By the end, it sounds like a Far East courtly ritual reflected back from a distant planet.
There is a notable precedent for what Tuomi is doing here. In the 1980's, Californian percussionist z'ev's dark, metallic drones helped to define and extend Industrial music. In the 21st century, Tuomi's serious yet psychedelic electroacoustic constructions could do something analogous for the post-Noise era.
Janne Tuomi is a gifted Finnish percussionist with a diverse resume including playing with bands like Circle & Rakhim (2 LP's on Qbico) and for Aki Peltonen (CD on ReR). This is Mr. Tuomi's second solo disc for FMR label. This disc features two long pieces, Elg and Suo, both are fascinating and superbly recorded. Janne is playing some sort of tuned drums with mallets and perhaps slowed down cymbals or bells when the title piece begins. The repeating cymbals give a most hypnotic drone quality while Janne solos first on drums and then on eerie bowed gongs. The overall buzzing sound is quite mesmerizing although it is difficult to tell what exactly is being done or played. This music has dark, ritualistic quality and it is hard to believe that it is totally acoustic since there are a number of sounds which feel manipulated. Is this music for a Black Mass or something equally disturbing?!? No need to answer that question. One of the most harrowing experiences I've had in recent memory. Too much!
- Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
APPROACHING (Ektro Records)
Approaching shows that Tuomi, while absorbing useful precedents from a range of musical fields, has developed his own vision of where the percussionist's role may take him.
The structure of Approaching, its varied instrumentation and mutations of pace readily suggest narrative, with Tuomi as storyteller relating a journey through a series of states from turbulence to eventual meditative calm. More importantly, it's a lively and serious engagement with the power, colour and nuance of sound. The rattling shells, gong splash and tinkling bells are evocative but they are also as much the substance of the music as Tuomi's energetic polyrhytmic kitwork.
”Approaching shows that Tuomi, while absorbing useful precedents from a range of musical fields, has developed his own vision of where the percussionist's role may take him.”
By Julian Cowley
..he uses a range of gongs and tuned percussion as well as trumpet to create a scenario that is meditative and dramatic by turns. There are a number of sounds that suggest an Eastern provenance placed next to the muted melodies of an African mbira. It is a very effective and attractive fusion whatever the sources may be.
”Tuomi’s use of wide ranging tones contributes to the cd’s distinctive soundscapes. They feel as though they have been carefully collaged using instrumental soundings that entirely compliment each other. It is both colourful and absorbing in its execution and the deployment of materials and should certainly tempt anyone who thinks an album consisting solely of percussion is not for them.”
”Tuomi’s solo methodolgy consists of noisy drumkit bashing alternating with gongs and cymbals sounding in shimmering waves, a pattern that takes on the feel of ritual. The drones, rattles, and sickly trumpet added to this at various times increase the aura of mystery and elemental energy.”
”The final piece, ”Contemplation,” really emphasizes the ritual aspect as Tuomi moves from cymbals to Indian drones to thumb piano and, finally, gongs with a grand sense of form and purpose, not unlike what the late Finnish drummer Edward Vesala used to do in his bands. A lot of Finnish jazz draws from the folk elements of their culture. Here is one impressive example.
Cadence Jazz Magazine
”Approaching does not sound like jazz in the conventional sense. It does not swing, and it is often difficult, even impossible, to ascertain how much is composed and how much is improvised. Yet, this is ordered, thoughtful music, and it is pleasantly surprising how much there is to hear.”
” Tuomi builds each piece carefully, even meticulously.”
”adventurous, unique album.”
”...the drumming is so intensely enjoyable it needs to be heard without accompaniment to be enjoyed properly. Difficult, but deep and rewarding, ‘Approaching’ is a marvellous record.”
”Carefully constructed, rising and falling, with hazy drone and dramatic clatter, soothing bells and rattling sticks...not a noisy racket at all, but a personal sound-world quite listenable for something that falls into the 'solo percussion' category.”
It's difficult to find words that do justice to conservatory-trained Finnish percussionist, free-music journeyman, and occasional Circle drummer Janne Tuomi. Approaching, his solo debut from 2004, kicks up clouds of sustained, polymorphous rhythms that are as stark as an empty temple yet as powerful as a collapsing building. Well-placed bursts of pocket trumpet and reverberating gongs add color to the shifting, tidal clatter. Like a less industrial, quieter Z'ev for the new millennium, Tuomi has located a unique intersection between avant-garde drone, the jazz improv of Edward Vesala or Milford Graves, and the grace of mother nature herself.
”for those of free mind.