A duo project with my partner, pianist Mira Opalińska.
Opalińska & Whates. Both versatile and strikingly inventive musicians, Polish pianist Mira Opalińska and British bassist Douglas Whates have performed in many different settings, their combined output ranging from contemporary classical to European jazz. Taking inspiration from such varied genres and brought together by a shared aesthetic—particularly that improvised music should be deeper than arbitrary patterns of notes—this duo’s brand of contemporary jazz is as extraordinary as it is quietly powerful.
Audiences can expect a mix of spontaneous melodic improvising (often drawing from simple folk melodies or children’s rhymes) as well as music from their acclaimed debut Lumière; an album of unique arrangements of works by classic film and world cinema composers, Komeda, Morricone, Takemitsu and others.
We debuted our film music project, Lumière, back in 2011, releasing our album on this theme the following year. It has been well received, widely reviewed, and continues to get a healthy does of airplay.
The album particularly captured the imagination of Japanese audiences—receiving the highest praise in Japan's most prestigious jazz journal Jazz Life (see quote)—with a special version of the album now available on Japanese Polish jazz import label Cześć! Records.
There are no superfluous notes on this album; everything Mira Opalinska and Douglas Whates play is selected with a profound sense of beauty. Among the pieces performed are compositions by Krzysztof Komeda, Toru Takemitsu, and a couple of beautiful selections from the movie ‘Cinema Paradiso‘—their interplay on these tunes presented with a reverential elegance.
You can listen to the album in full below. If you wish to order a copy of the beautifully presented CD please feel free to get in touch with myself or Mira. For the audiophiles out there, a hi-res (24bit/88.2KHz) download is also available.01_rosemarys_baby.mp302_ballad_for_bernt.mp303_rikyu.mp304_blade_runner.mp305_cinema_paradiso.mp306_love_theme--from_cinema_paradiso.mp307_a_short_film_about_love.mp308_tokyosora.mp3