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Interviews

Jussi Reijonen: Playground of Sound and Texture

By Published: June 18, 2013
That being said, I do feel very at home listening to the Nordic stream of jazz—artists like [trumpeter] Arve Henriksen
Arve Henriksen
Arve Henriksen
b.1968
trumpet
, [pianist] Alexi Tuomarila, [guitarist] Eivind Aarset
Eivind Aarset
Eivind Aarset

guitar
and so forth. Obviously, when I lived in Finland and began to work as a musician, there was a certain common understanding of a certain dialect of improvisation among those I played with that were considered jazz musicians—it gravitated towards the more spacious, more textural and less... hurried. I think that on some level, that—and my own naturally slower pace of doing and processing things—has been reflected into the music, especially a piece like "Kaiku," and my arrangement of "Naima" [both on Un].



Plus, I just enjoy sound, and sometimes it takes a moment to let it be enjoyed. Another factor has been that I went through a period of wanting to purify my expression in a way—to cleanse it of unnecessary filler words, commas and non sequiturs—and to only play what I heard instead of following what might be more physical or mechanical impulses. Because of that, the pace at which I hear things and sounds occur to me make me slow a lot of the music down. Many times, the silences are me waiting for that next impulse of what to say, and how to say it.

AAJ: What will be the next project? Are you working on it already?

JR: right now I'm still concentrating in getting the word out about Un and trying to play as many gigs as possible with the quintet, but I have tentatively started to sketch ideas of new music in my mind. At this point it's still very vague, but I have some instinct about what it may become. I definitely want to avoid repeating what I did with Un, so I'm trying to find new angles into composition.

I have a possible title for the next project, and that is sort of the main guiding light at the moment. I've composed some new music, including a maqam-based string trio for kamanche, cello and upright bass, but whether or not that is a piece that will fit into the context of the next album remains to be seen. I do have a feeling that the new music will explore resonance in ways that are, at least, new to me. I may also play more acoustic guitar with the new music.

Aside from that, I'm always open to interesting projects as a sideman. Two vocalists who I've been working with, Gabriela Martina
Gabriela Martina
Gabriela Martina
b.1984
vocalist
and Sissy Castrogiovanni, are releasing new albums that I played on this year, and there are some performances in the works with both. I really feel like now that school is finally over, it's the time to dig into the soil and get my fingernails dirty.

Selected Discography

Jussi Reijonen Un (Self Produced, 2012)

Photos Credit

Jaako Huikari


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