Aki Yli-Salomäki * Mardit B. LLeshi/Bledi Boraku – Ambientblog
Written by ELF Radio (Team) on 01.10.2023
AKI YLI-SALOMÄKI – JÄI MIELEEN
From Finland comes the chamber music of Aki Yli-Salomäki. Jäi Mieleen roughly translates as ‘Memory Lingers’, and that is an apt description of this ‘deep northern slow listening music manifested by grand sonority and soaring melodic arcs’.
Yli-Salomäki has a diverse musical background: he started out as a punk/metal bass player in the 1980s, released ambient/electronic music as OSA7029, and studied classical music at the University of Helsinki.
The three pieces opening Jäi Mieleen represent the latter: slow and thoughtful music written for acoustic instruments (a string quartet). This is followed by five sections of Vain Kaikuja (Only Echoes) introducing Yli-Salomäki on synthesizer together with the same string quartet. Slowly but undeniably the music is getting more otherworldly. The closing piece Siirtyma (A Transition) ends the album in full electronic mode but with the same calming mood as the beginning of the album.
Jäi Mieleen is Yli-Salomäki‘s second album, following up the (more orchestral) Valunta debut in 2022. But this will surely not be the last time we will hear from this composer.
MARDIT B. LLESHI / BLEDI BORAKU – SAGGIO
Mardit B. Lleshi and Bledi Boraku: two artists from Albania. Both have released music before, but I guess I can safely assume that these are new names for most (non-Albanian) users. They have also previously worked together in live settings but this release is their album debut as a duo.
With only two instruments – Boraku’s electric guitar and Lleshi’s cello – they present music that sounds as if many more instruments were involved.
The pieces on Saggio ( ‘Wise’) were recorded live in a dimly-lit church (as depicted in the cover art), and the feeling of the instantaneous moment is preserved by ‘capturing the acoustics of the room as a key component of this record’. The combination of cello with electric guitar is quite unusual (as far as I know), and the instruments engage in an interesting dialogue.
There was no intention to polish the recording afterward, which I think was a wise decision since the music sounds as spontaneous as a live performance. Based on this album, I would definitely love to see the duo perform live, but I guess this will not happen soon. So I’ll have to do with this album for now.