JAN KOPINSKI tenor / alto saxophones

This is Jan’s exciting new CD of the music to his long term project of exploration of music, images and mindscapes. He was commissioned by Opera North Projects to develop Mirrors, a mixed-media project combining music and visual imagery, with his collective outfit Reflektor (who specialise in works linked to projected visuals).

Collaborating with video artist Jim Boxall (Joy of Box) in live performances of the work, using visual footage that Kopinski has collected over 20 yrs of visiting Poland, Mirrors uses jazz and improvisation to create a highly personal reflection on themes of displacement, loss, identity, belonging and diffused memory. The darkly atmospheric suite-like piece is inspired by folk, religious, jazz and contemporary Polish music.

Whilst Mirrors is determinately based on Polish impressions, it is not a travelogue and transcends the particular to explore those moments of hovering reality, in and out of sleep, when emotions, fears, nostalgia and sentiment speak very clearly.

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In the sleeve notes the composer speaks of his attempts to connect with the stories and cultural roots of his ancestors as ‘those experiences that we all discover when searching for bonds with people we perhaps never had relations with but know so well. In my case, it became a much more empathetic understanding of situations and emotional charges when I started to visit Poland. It is so personal and yet, like reflections, removed and not touchable’.

Mirrors is a passionate and exhilarating cross-genre musical journey, a dreamscape bound up with personal history and intimate present connections on which he is joined by family members viola-playing daughter Janina Kopinska and bassist son Stefan Kopinski, long-time collaborators and Pinski Zoo members Steve Iliffe on piano and Patrick Illingworth on drums, plus the haunting wistful vocals of Melanie Pappenheim.