KAIROS 4TET unveil in-studio visual for poignant new single 'The Body Keeps the Score'
Adam Waldmann, saxophonist, composer and Kairos4tet frontman releases his first piece of music in seven years, a deeply moving ode to his grandmother who would have celebrated her 100th birthday this month.
A “beacon of love and optimism”, her motto was “tomorrow may be a better day”. Scheduled for release later in the year, Waldmann decided to share the song, and his grandmother’s incredible story, today, saying “in these uncertain times, now feels the right time”.
Accompanied by a beautifully-shot, in-studio video, the folk-inflected jazzy ballad features the pure and intimate voice of Emilia Mårtensson framed beautifully by Waldmann’s delicate sax, which, through the use of electronics creates a droney sound underscoring the songs contemplative mood.
“On May 26th, my grandmother Rena Young would have turned 100 years old.
I often think of her, particularly during challenging periods. I know whatever I may be experiencing cannot possibly compare to what she and many other victims of illness, war, prejudice and displacement had and have to endure.
Fleeing Nazi invaded Poland only to find herself in Stalin occupied Poland, Rena, along with many other refugees, was sent to a work camp in Siberia where she was given the task of making bricks. This perhaps was the beginnings of her becoming a sculptor in later life. After a harrowing few years she was able to leave Siberia with General Anders Army-in-exile after Germany declared war on Russia. This took her on another epic journey through Russia, the Caspian Sea, Persia, Beirut and eventually to a resettlement camp near Brighton where my father spent his first years. He sometimes speaks about the corrugated iron hut they called home.
When Rena passed away in 2017 after a long and full life of caring for others, she had been suffering from dementia for many years. One of the cruellest of illnesses.
Despite all the hardships she experienced, Rena remained a beacon of love and optimism, which was best encapsulated in her well-known catchphrase “tomorrow may be a better day”.
Like most of us, I’ve been left heartbroken seeing recent events unfold around the world. The loss of loved ones in devastating numbers and the actions of some governments has been hard to process. Human lives reduced to mere statistics.
At the same time, I am deeply inspired and full of gratitude for all the brave people on the front-line saving lives and keeping society functioning. With all that in mind, I’d like to share this song written in Rena’s memory. It was due for release later in the year on a new album but now felt like the right time.
It’s called ‘The Body Keeps the Score’, the title of the brilliant book about trauma by Bessell van der Kolk.
I hope this song in some small way can speak to the spirit of communion and unity needed to see us through this time, and that it honours Rena’s story. It is dedicated to her and the many others who weren’t able to say goodbye. May tomorrow be a better day”.
With love, Adam
Emilia Martensson - Vocals
Adam Waldmann - Saxophone/effects/composition
Jasper Høiby - Bass
Will Barry - Piano
Fred Thomas - Cello, Synths, post-production
Chris Hyson/Ruben Samama - post production
Mixed by Ruben Samama
Video by Carl Ulrich Ross-Mohl
ABOUT KAIROS 4Tet
MOBO Award winning Kairos 4Tet bridge the gap between classic and contemporary - the jazz orbit and folk lineage; with ferocious grooves, searching improvisations and melodies that linger long after the music stops. Described as a "precociously talented composer and player", saxophonist Adam Waldmann is a remarkable talent whether on breathy tenor or quirky soprano. He formed the quartet that features, in the main, bassist Jasper Hoiby (bass) Ivo Neame (piano) and Jon Scott (drums) all of whom are major players in their own rights. Kairos 4Tet have released three critically acclaimed albums to date, all of which have featured guest vocalist Emilia Mårtensson.
Born in the depths of Sweden’s southern countryside, Emilia Mårtensson is informed by the jazz vocal legends, yet it is the Swedish folk songs of her country that underpins who she is. Her pure, clear toned intimate voice, at times deeply soulful, at others ethereal, blur the lines between folk and jazz.
“Under the leadership of saxophonist Adam Waldmann, Kairos 4Tet have found a melodious medium between traditional Jazz and the forward-facing nature of the great young British Jazz groups. The band’s compositions are open and accessible, but there’s no compromise when it comes to intuitive, intelligent playing and adventurous arrangements” THE MERCURY PRIZE
“there are so few jazz bands writing complex vocal tunes and this is the band that’s doing it, and they're doing it so well…vocal melodies are beautiful as are the lyrics. Just Beautiful” Jamie Cullum