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Hashima: The Haywain

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Hashima: The Haywain

Igor Mišković, on Guitar
Vanja Todorović on Double Bass
Aleksandar Hristić on Drums
Srdan Mijalković on Tenor Saxophone
Featured Artist:
Susana Santos Silva on Trumpet

Press: Odradek Records:

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
July 21, 2019

This CD is a performance by a Belgrade-based jazz quartet, Hashima, with Igor Mišković on guitar, Vanja Todorović on double bass, Aleksandar Hristić on drums, and Srdan Mijalković on tenor saxophone, plus a featured guest artist, Susana Santos Silva on trumpet. The band’s name Hashima is derived from a poetry cycle about escaping to a distant Japanese island and finding powerful aesthetic inspiration. Five tracks, all composed by guitarist Mišković, transport the listener to escape with the band to an imaginary, exotic other world. The 15th century artist from the Netherlands, Hieronymus Bosch, created a triptych, “Heaven” – “The Haywain” – “Hell”, with three of this album’s tracks evoking varying musical narratives of Bosch’s three panels of the biblical theme of Adam and Eve. The compositional homage includes the creation of Adam and Eve, figures and angels on and below the “Haywain”, or wagon of hay, and the couple’s descent to and experience in hell. The first track dance composition is inspired by Balkan folklore.

All compositions composed by Igor Mišković.

Notable tracks:

#1 – Dance No. 3 – This dance is exotic and transporting, contemporary and charged in energy. Swishing brushes and drumsticks open the track, before the trumpet offers an eerie solo. There are also passages of a whispering guitar, as well as varying earthy bass rhythms. The trumpet and saxophone are featured prominently to give the theme a moving caravan effect, with compelling, pulsating momentum.

#3 – Ray of the Microcosm - This is amazing sound, with electronic, treble guitar tones opening the track with eerie mystery. The bass introduces rapid, rippling resonance, with the help of percussive rumbles. When the saxophone comes in, mid-track to carry a haunting theme, the intensity builds. The four musicians join forces toward the dramatic finale.

#4 – The Haywain – This track seems to signify the seven deadly sins on and around the wagon of hay, as it opens with a repetitive throbbing bass phrase, followed by a swooning saxophone and punctuated guitar in the high tonal registers. Mid-track it becomes more cacophonous and dissonant. There is musical mayhem and a sense of narrative confusion and distress. One wonders what the theme of Bosch’s third triptych panel will reveal.

#5 – The Satantango – On this third and final track of the Bosch triptych tribute, we hear atonal guitar effects, adding to the dervish delirium of the music. The saxophone and bass create staccato, random tempi, and the drummer is busy with a floor tom, adding a Balkan folk motif. The fused tone implodes and explodes as the theme develops. At one point the composer chants into a microphone. Album notes tell the listener that this track is inspired by a seven-hour film, same title, by Hungarian Director, Béla Tarr.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at