Branched out in 2004 from the Moscow Acoustic Architecture Studio, JOAN SILVER PIN (aka J.S.P.) naturally summed up the results of long-time collaboration between the Russia most prominent electronic, rock and jazz artists. The core band-members are:
Alexander SENKO – a headmaster of the ensemble. Producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, he started his musical career as a guitarist in the beginning of the ‘90s with the free-jazz band THE 12TH DAY, and then joined the blues-rock group of the Russian singing duchess Olesja TROYANSKAYA. In 1998 he graduated the Gnesins Musical Institute with a diploma of sound-producer. Since 2000, he has been in charge of a recording-studio business.
Pavel ZHULIN – a magnificent trumpeter for the internationally acclaimed the IGOR BUTMAN BIG BAND.
Tatyana IPATOVA – an exceptional voice. A lady who stands behind her own project SHANTY VOICES, and, arguably, is one of the best modern Russian enchantress of improvised singing in the field of world-jazz music. She is also known as a theatre and cinema actress. (In 2006, soon after the album came out, Tatyana Ipatova tragically passed away...)
Oleg PANKRATOV – a gifted multi-instrumentalist, guitarist and drummer with unique style of his own. He worked with many local rock, psychedelic and fusion bands.
The interactions between very diverse musicians lead to the creation of so-called genreless music. The ideas come mostly from literature, paintings, movies, etc, and gradually take melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, and timbre shapes without any dominance of genre, style or concept over emotional perceptions by the artists involved. JSP easily talk in riddles with academic, electro acoustic, jazz, rock, and ethnic music. They do not create nothing new, but express the common by uncommon means, avoid iterations and affectations. Something closer to post-modern ideology, but in fact it’s just another occurrence of the mature artistic performance. For JSP music samples visit project's MyspaceMusic page.
“Being of many variable colours, and of great beautie, although of evil smell, our gentlewomen doe call them Jone Silver-pin." – John Gerarde (“Herball”, 1596).
Papaver somniferum, its history begins with the ancient Sumerians who referred to the flower as a plant of joy. The knowledge of the plant was passed throughout the nations and ages. The ancient Egyptians promoted use of opium as a sleep aid, and their pharaohs were buried with opium artifacts. Numerous ancient Greek gods were portrayed wreathed with or carrying poppies. Hippocrates made frequent mention of the poppy for its hypnotic effects and nutritive value. Opium was largely used as a social drug in India and China. In Europe, waned during the Dark Ages, the use of opium was rediscovered in XVI century: the smoking of opium was discovered; prior to this opium was taken orally – the practice of smoking opium is still considered barbaric by some cultures. During 17th and 18th centuries opium became the primary trade commodity between Europe, India and China. In 1803, F.Seturner discovered the active ingredient of opium by dissolving it in acid then neutralizing it with ammonia: the resulting product was morphine. In 1874, C.Write created heroin by boiling morphine over a stove. Opium and its products consumption reached an all time high in Britain in 1830...
Well, the stories told by JSP are as dramatic and mysterious as the history of poppies itself. Incorporating electronics, traditional instrumentations, esoteric vocalizations as well as atypical arrangement and production techniques, «Chiaroscuro» sonic landscapes can earn the praise among a diverse variety of different audiences. The group relies most often on the experimental ambient aesthetic with subtly changes in content and timbre, mixing a warm, clean fusion of deliberate analog synths, gentle guitars, stark trumpet, smart percussive bits, loose and forceful vocal improvisations. An accomplished post-rock architecture of the various elements from synth-music, avant-garde, jazz and rock: the ability to create quite layered and complex, the more you listen to it, modern electro-acoustic psychedelic masterpieces becomes apparent from the very album beginning. Enjoy! (9 tracks - 70 min.)
"The artwork and unique casing of the album alone would make it worth purchase to me in any store. Beautiful in a was that was rather disturbing to me, the design for the artwork was filled with vintage-esque paintings of children that resemble now-a-days china dolls. The disturbing part was the seemingly random black scribbles throughout the casing. Scratching out the eyes of several, as well as the mouth of one, the artwork successfully creates a foreboding atmosphere prior to any listening experience. Joan Silver Pin does not, in fact, create anything new that has not been done or heard before. It is their methods that really put the spotlight on them. This group of incredibly talented musicians and artists takes genres that have been known to us for many years, deconstructs them piece by piece, and reconstructs an entirely new image out of various aspects of each. For many artists, this would be a recipe for absolute disaster. But, for Joan Silver Pin, Chiaroscuro seems to be a work of art that is uncannily representative of the experimentalist in us all. Chiaroscuro thus forces one to leave behind all expectations of what music is and should be, and puts the listener in a seat where they can merely sit back and hear the music for what it is: art in its' purist form. The music itself is all over the charts. As track flows to track, we are thrown into a world not held up by walls. Chiaroscuro is reminds me of wind. As it blows through our hair and against our bodies, we catch different sensations and different scents in the air that encompasses us. Just like this, the sounds and elements in the music created are never still and consistently changing and flowing through one another. As one moment I am listening to a very jazzy Trumpet lead, it can and does flow into an ethnic/indian vocal sound seemingly without any effort whatsoever. Much of this album seems almost improvised. Free-style jazz ambient may be one way of describing the music heard within. There are minutes of moving beats with vocals and harmonies followed by minutes of downtempo ambient with jazz mixtures. To any experimentalist out there, this album truely is a rare gem. To other musicians, it may be just another band throwing way too many elements into one pot. Regardless of what your opinion is, there is one fact that cannot be argued with. That is, Joan Silver Pin is an entity made up of several human artists. It is tied together by brilliant musicians who wish nothing more than to create what they love the most: their music. To those interested in picking this up, I urge you to do so. Chiaroscuro was a wonderful experience for me, and yet another one to push on my limits as a musician in my personal life. It has also been yet another Russian masterpiece to back my feelings that Russia is a country unrivaled in their ability to put out quality talent-filled music." – by Lord Lycan at Heathen Harvest (USA) (February 2007).
"This is gorgeous and seductive music that shape-shifts from post-rock to electronic ambient to jazz, but cleverly enough to avoid the pitfalls of a confused mish-mash of genres. The arrangements are atypical but never aimless, and the combination of electronics, female vocalizations and traditional instruments (namely the trumpet) inspired and carefully crafted. In short, a great reward for adventurous ears courtesy of RAIG." – by Tirdad at Mechanoise Labs (France) (February 2007).