Hiromi finds the silver lining, with quick fingers, on ‘Silver Lining Suite’
Hiromi always strikes a chord with her explosive performances. In addition to her pyrotechnic and dramatic effects on stage, she is a composer at heart. We get a glimpse of his creative mind with Silver Lining Suite, released this Friday on Telarc.
She remembers writing music when she was little and continues to write her ideas down in a daily journal. While in quarantine in Japan, she offered to do livestreams for the benefit of Blue Note employees in Tokyo. Even though there was no live audience, it was his small contribution to keep people working. At one point during those 16 nights, she set up four chairs on stage. What happened next was not a complete hallucination, but almost. She visualized a string quartet sitting there. Then the musical ideas sprang from the air.
She later turned to violinist Tatsuo Nishie, concertmaster at the New Japan Philharmonic, and proposed the sheet music for a piano quintet to document this unusual period.
“I wanted to write about my emotional journey during the pandemic. I think it was such an unhealthy environment, because we kind of lost the place to release our energy. The only thing I can do is write music and someday I will play that music in front of an audience. And that’s the only thing that kept me going.
Thursday and Friday, Hiromi makes her wish come true by performing with her Piano Quintet at Sony Hall in New York.
The movements in the suite may have dreary song titles like “Isolation” and “Uncertainty,” but these compositions are meant to uplift and often refer to a jubilant, old-fashioned style of jazz piano playing.
“I grew up listening to Erroll Garner and Oscar Peterson since I was 8,” says Hiromi. “I’m a huge fan of Art Tatum and Phineas Newborn, Jr., and transcribing their music, you get their chops for sure because it’s played beautifully. Oscar Peterson, he’s known for his amazingly quick chops, but it is much more than this. “
We talk briefly about her penchant for “quick fingers”, as she puts it – and touch on perhaps the biggest concert of her professional career: a dazzling performance at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, which does not currently lives only in this YouTube montage. . For Hiromi, it was as powerful as any other gig. “Whenever I perform, it doesn’t matter where he is. As long as there are people to share the music with and they enjoy it, then I give it my all. “