Aki Rissanen




Rissanen sets out his stall from the off with Amorandom’s longest track, Pulsar, percussively driven by Teppo Makynen until Antti Lotjonen segues the beat with delicate bass: the stage is set for Rissanen’s introduction on piano, and the template of moving the composition through the gears, sustained by capricious trio playing, is repeated throughout, although you can never be too sure where Rissanen will take you.

With Pulsar, relish the playful solo by Lotjonen, until the memorable motif is revisited again by Rissanen and Makynen. The mood is far more low key with For Rainbows, a playful ballad with this trio’s imprimatur – improvisation and freshness – though the former is never indulgent.

It is somewhat remarkable that with the lightning speed of the musicians at his disposal, and Makynen and Jonen are as tight as a Swiss lending bank, the trio is disciplined with its energy and innovation. The addictive gene in Amorandom is Rissanen’s warm virtuosity, which flows like a fox across a field in Paysages Pas Sages.

Two other standout tracks are Bird Vision and Signettes: Bird Vision has Rissanen circumnavigating the bass and drums, but the effect is playfully cohesive, with a sense of galloping urgency, manifest on many of the original compositions, predominant throughout.

Signettes, before the rhythmic cross cutting, is beautifully laboured into life by Rissanen, but here the trio reminds you why its sound seems to reference a cinematic influence, which – through the prism of Rissanen  – is seen as identifying with European classical impressionism and Nordic lyricism. Certainly more illumination than eclipse.

The music on Amorandom assumes a panoramic identity, sourced within static minimal music, and Rissanen is on record as saying that the compositions are based on an animation film, for which he composed the soundtrack. Despite the metamorphosis over the years, there remains a pure cinematic resonance to Amorandom. There is a fluidity in the bold playing of Rissanen whose compositional writing and arrangement combines intelligent and intricate ideas with exciting and pungent execution.

With the superb Antti Lotjonen and Teppo Makynen, Amorandom exudes a lyrical melancholy and a distinctive rhythmical drive and finesse so that what you have in your hands is a work of immense promise from three young musicians who, with Amorandom, have made a startling and coherent statement of intent.

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