“Effortless tranquility that brings peace to the soul in short order. ‘Wishing Well’ lifts your spirits immediately and puts you in the ‘zone.’ Gorgeous, truly gorgeous.” – Dyan Garris
UMA is the musical collaboration of two well-known Estonian musicians: Guitarist Robert Jürjendal and trumpet and corno da caccia player Aleksei Saks. “UMA” originates from the South Estonian Seto dialect, and it translates to “own.”
The duo began their collaboration in early 2007 with the purpose of creating a new, experimental blend of electro-acoustic guitar and horn sounds. For those that do not know, the corno da caccia is also referred to as a “hunting horn” and is known for the soft sounds it produces.
Both musicians are classically trained and mix their music with mild electronica, with the result being a sound that falls between subtle ECM-style jazz and New Age contemporary. However you label it, the very first thing one notices about their album, “Wishing Well, is how very relaxing and peaceful it is. One could quite easily float out on this.
While there are not new to the music world at all, “Wishing Well” is the duo’s myndstream debut. Here we have 10 tracks of effortless tranquility. No one said so, but if I had to guess, I would say this is possibly improvised, which takes a great deal of talent to do “right.” And if not, it doesn’t matter because it’s all incredibly well done.
There’s another special thing about this music – the whole album – and that is that you almost feel like you’re attending a private house concert. It’s got a very warm and intimate feel.
The album opens with the title track, which is melodic and authentic. The piece has got a softly jazzy feel to it and instantly puts you in a state of serenity.
“Old Diaries” follows. Guitar, percussion, electronica, and horn all play nicely together in the musical sandbox. This is brief, and true to the title, has a nostalgic feel from an era long gone.
The very beautiful, “Pilgrims Path,” is soft, subtle, and super-relaxing. The horn performance is just exquisite, as is the soft guitar. The percussion is perfect. The entire thing brings peace to the soul in short order. Beautiful.
“Lightness of the Soul” lives up to its name. One feels lighter from the very first notes. Again, this has a slightly jazzy feel with the gentle percussion/beat. The piece lifts the spirit and imparts an upbeat vibe all through.
In French, “Petite Ouverture à Danser” translates to “Small Opening to Dance.” This is fun, and nostalgic as well, of times past. Flowing and peaceful, let’s dance a small dance. Really creative and truly wonderful.
“Lost A Dream” superbly showcases Aleksei’s talent as a horn player and Robert’s guitar playing as well. This is “dreamy,” and I think it’s a splendid example of why these two created “UMA” in the first place.
Robert’s guitar draws us right in to “Longing,” and Aleksei’s horn has that perfectly plaintive feel. This is soft and romantic, sweet and light. Just lovely.
Another standout on this album is “My Days.” This is so tranquil and peaceful without any effort at all it seems. The guitar is completely wonderful here, all with a flowing, romantic vibe. It’s one to love, and one for the relaxation playlist, for sure.
The 3-1/2 minute “Deep Sea” is one that you never want to end. In fact, if I have any complaint at all about this album is that I wish it were longer. This piece has got a beautiful melody that puts you right into the zone immediately and speaks to the high heart. Gorgeous, truly gorgeous. More, please.
The album closes out with the slow, soft, and enchanting, “Beyond Skyline.” Plucky guitar blends with a soulful horn melody. Yes, we are sad to see this go.
Get “Wishing Well” by UMA here: https://myndstream.fanlink.to/Wishing-Well
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