Okkyung Lee – 나를 (NA-REUL) [Black Cross Solo Sessions 3] (Corbett vs. Dempsey, CD)

The pandemic separated Okkyung Lee from her instrument. For six months, she was stuck in South Korea and had no cello at her disposal. Even when she returned to New York, she initially lacked the desire to touch it for two months until she received an offer from the improv label Corbett vs. Dempsey to record a new album. Suddenly, Lee reports in the accompanying notes to »나를 (NA-REUL) [Black Cross Solo Sessions 3]« the ideas bubbled out of her again: »Even though I struggled with my instrument in the studio, the connection was still there. It sounded like me.« The result sounds elegiac at times, like a powerful processing of incomprehensible crises, and thus more than contemporary. At the same time, however, it is also more intimate and approachable than almost any other record in the artist's broad back catalogue. Unlike usual, the recordings were hardly manipulated by Lee, which gives »나를 (NA-REUL)« a very direct and immediate character. This album lives.