It is rare to witness an evolution of musical creativity, like you do when listening to Joona Toivanen’s Lone Room: on his latest, piano solo recording on CAM JAZZ, the Finnish artist seems to be exploring his intriguing inner sonic world on each of the eight tracks he composed, in pursuit of expressive paths that lead him to reveal himself, by looking for and finding a new longed-for land, which amazes him at first, but which only briefly cools down his fire. Until the next destination. Toivanen turns us into a privileged audience: a path opens up through a captivating, unspoilt, virgin forest, which, in itself, is already music, while we, undisturbed, watch him moving through and choosing among thousands of possible sounds. Toivanen’s melodies may be well-recognizable, almost classical, as in Moon Illusion, then vanish in a spray of crystal and become something else. Yet they may also have an undefined beginning, halfway between a major and minor mode, like Highlands, and gradually take on a well-defined shape until the track comes to an end. The uniqueness of Lone Room lies in revealing the search, the route and the destination reached. Whether inward-looking, outgoing, contemplative, joyful or gloomy, Toivanen’s approach is always extremely jazzy, even when it is unusual, like Whale Song, in which he almost sets the beguiling language of whales to music. Listening to Toivanen’s new album, released on CAM JAZZ, satisfies our senses. Actually, this comforting satiety triggers our desire to listen to it again, knowing we will surely find something still unexplored.
Recorded in Cavalicco on 3 - 4 September 2015 at Artesuono Recording Studio
Recording engineer Stefano Amerio
Photos by Andrea Boccalini
Liner notes by Brian Morton