A year on from her debut, Homes, Shida Shahabi`s playing is still as intimate as it gets. Wrapping her JG Malmsjo upright in felt, the muted “clanking” and “creaking” of pedals, keys and hammers remains integral to her sound. Where on Homes this “ambience” was rhythmic, on Shifts it`s more abstract. The sonics more someone rearranging a desk, rifling though drawers and secret compartments. Scratching quietly, rattling. Searching for something.
The piano`s movements are Satie-esque. Slow and emotive for sure, but also dynamic. Finding quick flights of fancy and thought. Three of the five new tracks feature the cello of Linnea Olsson. On Futo her strings are stretched and slightly atonal. Conveying a sense of unease and foreboding. On All In Circles she takes the lead. Her song more melancholic in the spotlight. Where overdubbed lines intertwine in conversation, and given the track`s title I imagined a lovers` quarrel – going round and round. Shahabi`s notes spare, rare, like kind words. Sea Ear is swooning, romantic. The cello now drawn out into lingering drone. The music beaten, but beautiful, still strong, as it looks for light on the horizon. Janvie by contrast is a brighter, lighter melody. The E.P.`s closer, Keiko, could be a reprise of its opener. Where Futo`s piano finds itself alone.
Shifts was released on November 8th – you can order a copy directly from 130701. Shida spent the summer and fall on a promotional tour, which included a set at Somerset House – prefacing a screening of Jane Campion`s The Piano. There are already a few new dates scheduled for next year…
January 16th – Feinkostlampe, Hanover, Germany
January 17th – Franz Mehlhose, Erfurt, Germany
March 28th – Cultuurcentrum Hasselt, Belgium