Today Copenhagen-based duo IRAH share the intense and enchanting new single “Siu Hinama”, the second single to be taken from their forthcoming album ‘Diamond Grid’ which is due for release via Tambourhinoceros on May 24th.
On “Siu Hinama” vocalist Stine Grøn’s primordial chanting is carried forth by the atmospheric synthesizers of Adi Zukanović and compelling drumming of UK-based Seb Rochford (Polar Bear, Patti Smith, Brian Eno). It’s a track that reaches for the stars above our heads and the earth beneath our feet, drawing from both Zukanovic’s Bosnian and Grøn’s Danish heritage, and combining a multitude of musical traditions, states of mind, and spiritual dimensions.
The track is evocative and energetic, sung in its own language, as Stine elaborates: “”Siu Hinama” occurred through vocalistic sound meditations. The song never felt right with lyrics and therefore we decided to just let the words or word-sounds be as they were.”
Adi was born in Sarajevo in Bosnia but fled to Denmark with his family as a four-year-old when the war broke out. At his refugee centre, Adi found a small keyboard in the playroom – a discovery that went on to open a whole new world of calm and escape for him. Years later, Adi is one of Denmark’s most sought after pianists and keyboardists, arranging for some of the country’s most celebrated Danish symphony orchestras. Stine was brought up in Denmark and when she took up singing as a child it soon became her creative universe. Her singing has evolved over the years into seemingly effortless, powerful and ethereal expressions. Eventually their musical paths brought them to each other and together they formed IRAH, named for a higher being Stine encountered during meditation, which came to be a mantra for her.
Lyrically, ‘Diamond Grid’ deals with existential crises on both human and political levels – those close to IRAH’s heart and those affecting the wider world. Mostly written via improvisational methods in the studio where they find collective musical energy, for both Stine and Adi IRAH is a creative safe haven away from hectic modern life – a place of spirituality and meditation. But ultimately, it’s the pair’s never-ending musical curiosity at the heart of IRAH. Throughout ‘Diamond Grid’ contemporary themes and sounds mesh with an undercurrent of ageless and transcendental spirituality that flows through everything and the result is an album of other-worldly, enchanting proportions.
They were joined on the record by Seb Rochford (drums), Fredrik Lundin (flute) and Mathias Wolf Andreasen (drums on “Unity of Gods”). The album was recorded mostly at Sauna Studios in Copenhagen and produced by IRAH in collaboration with fellow Dane Mads Brinch Nielsen. The artwork is by visual artist Jakob Steen.