GOODBYE by HANAKIV
classical / ambient / electronic
Johanna Kivimägi, better known by her pseudonym HANAKIV, is a young pianist, producer and composer from Estonia currently based in London. Her meditative compositions are a blend of electronic and classical music. She cites Tim Hecker, Björk Kara-Lis Coverdale, Arvo Pärt, Erkki-Sven Tüür and Aphex Twin as her main influences, but also Regina Spektor, through whom she was moved to play the piano in her earlier days, and the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós. But the piano was not the first instrument Hanakiv played. At the age of nine, she first began her musical training on a rather unusual instrument: handbells. She played in a handbells ensemble for eight years before she began studying composition at the Estonian Academy of Music and then switched to the “electroacoustic composition” course in Reykjavík. There she spent a lot of time in the record store 12 Tónar, where you can drink espresso and listen to records. In between, she also spent some time in Malmö, where she worked as an intern with composer Kent Olofson at the theater.
Probably in joyful anticipation of new people and impressions, she moved to London in early 2020, only to suddenly find herself -in the middle of a foreign metropolis and without network, friends or family- in a lockdown. But it was precisely these circumstances that led to the creation of her debut album GOODBYES, which will be released on March 10, 2023 on Gondwana Records.
“This is an album about healing. It is about saying your goodbyes to everything that doesn’t serve you anymore. Each of these songs has a little goodbye in it. So, these are very beautiful and necessary goodbyes.” says Hanakiv about her record.
The title GOODBYE is the opener of the debut and -just like the music- the accompanying video opens the door to a space of calmness, serenity and contemplation. The dancer with the silk kimono almost seems like a vibrant projection of the inner world of Hanakiv, who sits at the piano and performs her instrumental with concentration. The architecture of the venue here plays no insignificant role in the aesthetics of the video – an interesting shadow play is formed on the undulating surfaces of its concrete walls. Multiple exposures and cross-fades of the choreography, performed by Kasia Kattai, very appropriately visualize the well-tempered crescendo at the end of the piece.
Daniel Halsall directed the film, and Ants Tammik was the cinematographer. Rich Williams handled the editing.
GOODBYES will be released on vinyl (limited), CD and of course as a digital album and can be pre-ordered at Bandcamp.