Sprig of That – “Kirenaka”
Americana Highways brings you this single and video premiere of Sprig of That’s song “Kirenaka,” from their forthcoming album Bloom, due to be available on February 10. The song, which is releasing today, was captured here on video while the band recorded it live.
“Kirenaka” is Krissy Bergmark on tabla; Ilan Blanck on guitar; and Isabel Dammann on violin. It was produced by Wes Corbett, recorded and mixed by Dave Sinko, and mastered by David Glasser at Airshow Mastering. This was recorded at Sound Emporium Studios with videography by Michael Mallicote. Additional arrangement help was provided by Andy Thompson. The guitars were loaned to Ilan by Chris Eldridge. The video is the band playing together in the studio.
The album release will mark the ascension of a superb, boundary-pushing band, and “Kirenaka” — the fourth and final single from Bloom — stands as a heady, spare and slightly skew excursion into pure melody and rhythm. Like the music that’s inspired them — Béla Fleck comes to mind as another pioneer of syncretic art that draws upon folk traditions while updating them for a new era — “Kirenaka” gets into a deep well of harmony and melody.
Inspired by a traditional Indian musical work, “Kirenaka” is a specific collection of sounds played on the tabla. Krissy Bergmark, master of the trio’s essential percussion instrument, tabla, artistically extracted rhythmic and melodic parts of the Indian opus to create “Kirenaka”. While the full tabla composition may not have ended up in the final track, it is probably the piece on Sprig of That’s album, Bloom that is most directly drawn from the language of tabla and the Indian traditions of the instrument. It’s the product of years of hard work and the elusive muse of inspiration.
Talking about the new single track “Kirenaka,”,which is released today, Krissy Bergmark states – “Much of Kirenaka came from a tabla composition I love to play. In playing tabla, every sound has a syllabic name, or bol, associated with it. It becomes an actual language, and so the compositions don’t really have names, but instead, we recite them to know both which composition is being referenced or played, and to actually perform them – which is to say recitation is a significant part of performance practice in Hindustani tabla. In “Kirenaka,” I extracted some accent patterns and notes as they correspond to my individual drums while creating the composition. The driving energy of the theme of the composition is present in the violin part, and the melody emerged from there. I love this tune because in bringing it to Ilan and Isabel, it ended up growing into what I really love about the tabla. Although, yes, it is fast and exciting, there are so many moments of synchronicity, sensitivity, and joy that come through in its contours.”
There’s a striking and dazzling power in the rhythms and the melodies of the music by Sprig of That. This song is a sample of their thoughtful and evolved playing, with strong violin melodies and weaving guitar resounding over driving and entrancing rhythms on the tabla.
Sprig of That is one of the most flexible and skilled bands I have had the pleasure of working with as a producer. The sonic ecosystem they have created with their unique instrumentation is at once as surprising as it is gorgeous. – Wes Corbett
Discover lots more about this trio, including tour dates, here: https://www.sprigofthat.com/
Listen to the song here while you’re mesmerized by the band’s hypnotic, earthy and heady playing: