A nigun is a wordless melody, a musical meditative prayer. Traditionally, a nigun is hummed or chanted by an individual or a group without using instruments.
That didn’t deter D. Brook and J. Harkham, whose new collaboration Darkcho is a beautiful and haunting album of instrumental and musical nigunim.
Their tunes are traditional, but Harkham’s echoey guitar work creates a rhythm that sounds like a cross between a be-bop song and a roomful of stomping feet. Brook, a Sydney, Australia-based trumpet player, makes his instrument sound surprisingly tender and delicate. When Brook and Harkham do sing, their voices are soft and gravelly, blending seamlessly with the instrumentals–one part Tom Waits, one part Hank Williams. This isn’t just music to meditate to; this is music to live to.
Listen to Darkcho here.