England - Full Moon 147 - 09/15/08
HUMI (Hugh Hopper & Yumi Hara Cawkwell)
Humi is a fusion of and collaboration between Yumi and Hugh. Dune sounds different from anything else I've heard from the huge Hugh Hopper catalogue. Well, he plays his bass and records his loops as he has since the 1960s. Here he's credited with electronics, too. Japanese Yumi Hara Cawkwell is an educated musician living in London with a degree specialising in acoustic and electroacoustic composition and performance.
Yumi's keyboards and voice dominate the album. Her voice ranges from traditional Japanese folk singing to something close to atonal. Occasionally she sings like a member of the Bene Gesserit community in the Dune novels. So maybe the contents and title of the album draw inspiration from more than the desert landscape on the cover? If so, there is more in common between Humi and Belgian BeNe GeSSeRiT, also featured in this moonth's menu, than the female-male duo format.
Humi's music is a happy blend of jazz, improvised stuff, contemporary serious music, something next to noise, world music and a lot more. Here's even a track based on Soft Machine's old song "Hope For Happiness", duly called "Hopeful Impressions Of Happiness". You have to listen very closely to recall the original...
If I have to make one musical comparison with Dune it has to be that of American composer, musician etc. extraordinaire Meredith Monk. Though not a lot. Humi's music is different. Different to anything else I've heard. And challenging. Full stop!
More to be found at the MoonJune pages and Humi's Myspace page.
Copyright © 2008 JP