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Sven Wunder – Wabi Sabi

The follow up to Eastern Flowers, one of our favorite releases of the year, also available on our site.

Sven Wunder applies the timeless wisdom of wabi sabi – beauty and imperfection – on this part of his musical journey. (The first was his sought after debut Eastern Flowers, which we recently offered and sold out of nearly immediately.) Again, Wunder invokes the past – and an obvious study of musical scenes and genres from around the world – as he interprets folklore with ancient and new techniques. In this album, for instance, the sound of the Western concert flute, which stretches back to the Renaissance and Baroque periods, evokes the sound of the Japanese bamboo-flute (the shakuchachi), which reached its peak during the Edo period.

The guzheng, also known as the Chinese zither, with a more than 2,500 year history, joins traditional Japanese folk melodies with modern pop percussion and 20th century electronic instruments such as the Moog synthesizer, Wurlitzer electric piano and electric bass. The result is something that you could file, easily, next to the wonderful experiments of Shakuhachi jazz master Minoru Muraoka, which is a heady compliment. An album that, as Piano Piano writes, “celebrates the fleeting nature of all things. A journey. A deep inhale and a slow exhale. It has a mix of jazz (both funky and progressive), East Asian and South Asian sounds…. (It’s goal is to) reconnect with nature and concentrate on asymmetries and emphasize ornamentation to generate new ways of looking at the world, here and now.”


1. Yūgen (4:06)
2. Shinrinyoku (2:34)
3. Hot Winds Arrive (2:37)
4. Hanami (3:11)
5. Komorebi (3:40)
6. Blanket Fog Descends (3:02)
7. Wabi Sabi (3:15)
8. Bamboo And Rocks (2:59)
9. Kachōfūgetsu (2:55)
10. Onsen (3:43)
11. North Wind Rattles the Leaves (4:21)

Label: PIANO PIANO – PP1002