The Takoushis Karapatakis Project is a contemporary jazz ensemble from Cyprus formed around the core duo of London-based film, TV and game composer Marios Takoushis on piano and Gabriel Karapatakis on fretless bass. While borrowing elements from Cypriot folk music as well as from neighbouring Mediterranean traditions (Crete, Greece or Turkey), the Takoushis Karapatakis Project exudes a modern North European jazz sound based on strong melodic and lyrical compositions. Self-released in June 2015 last, Colours of Another Sky is the Project’s third recording.

Takoushis Karapatakis Project - Colours of Another Sky (2015)
Takoushis Karapatakis Project – Colours of Another Sky (2015)

Originally formed in 2008 and releasing their first album Sympnoia in 2010 as a traditional jazz quartet (piano, bass, drums and saxophone/clarinet), the Takoushis/Karapatakis sound quickly evolved with the introduction of the Cretan lyra of Zacharias Spyridakis on Seven Miles East (2012).

Widely played by Cretan and Greek folk bands performing a traditional song and dance repertoire, the Cretan lyra is a modern variant of the medieval Byzantine lyra and the instrument also features prominently in various Early Music and Baroque ensembles. In addition to his work with traditional bands and contemporary Greek composers, Zacharias Spyridakis has also been performing and recording extensively with Jordi Savall since 2011.

Removed from its “natural” context, the Cretan lyra adds a marvellous new sonic texture to the project, connecting its ancient lineage with a contemporary sound while also transposing the improvisational nature of Cretan traditional music to a jazz environment.

Introduced by an almost Modern-Classical theme on the piano, the title track of the album encapsulates the unique sound of the project with the lyra coming in halfway into the song and initiating a gorgeous dialogue with piano and bass before concluding the theme in unison with the piano.

The interaction between lyra, piano, tenor/soprano saxophone (David Lynch) and bass are fully explored over the six new compositions on the record while Gabriel Karapatakis also complements his sound palette using an acoustic piccolo bass (tuned an octave higher than a bass guitar) to play the melodic line on “Prayer for Savvas” for instance.

Throughout the album, tracks such as “Beyond Borders” or “Words Hidden in Time” seem to pause and move away from the main theme towards the end to unveil an ethereal transition on the piano, thus softly echoing the sky landscape on the cover art of Colours of Another Sky.

Colours of Another Sky was self-released and is available at all digital stores.