Orchestra Nazionale della Luna Selene's View

BMCCD338 2024

The Italian-sounding name of Orchestra Nazionale della Luna, founded by Finnish keyboardist Kari Ikonen and Belgian wind player Manuel Hermia, is as misleading as their claim that they have become one of the most important bands on the moon. The international quartet is rooted in the tradition of jazz, but open to our time and all the horizons of our vast world. Its members expand the field of a classical quartet by inviting the sounds of India and Arabic music, as well as more electronic effects. Piano and sax are supported by the background of an intense rhythmic complicity between French bassist Sébastien Boisseau and Belgian drummer Teun Verbruggen, who share rhythmic and melodic jousting with the soloists.
An intoxication of swing rocked by modernism, with the suspicion sometimes of a spiritual depth in the music, sometimes of quirky, almost Fellinian humor, make this Orchestra Nazionale della Luna a quite unique musical meteorite.
The band's second album,
There's Still Life On Earth – a musical statement on the ecological crisis – was released in 2020 on BMC Records. Their new album, Selene’s View questions the social disruptions caused by new technologies and AI, balancing between composition and improvisation, acoustic and electronic sounds, order and chaos.

The album is available on vinyl on Igloo Records.


Kari Ikonen – piano (with and without Maqiano), Moog synthesizer
Manuel Hermia – saxophone, flute, bansuri
Sébastien Boisseau – double bass
Teun Verbruggen – drums

About the album

In association with IGLOO Records and Jackal Productions

Compositions by Kari Ikonen (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) and Manuel Hermia (2, 4, 6, 8)

Recorded at BMC Studio, Budapest on 15-17 August, 2023
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Viktor Szabó

Artwork: Anna Natter / Cinniature

Produced by László Gőz
Label manager: Tamás Bognár 

Supported by Federation Wallonie Bruxelles


x - Rockinform (hu)

Maurice Hogue - AllAboutJazz (en)

Marita Nyrhinen - Kulttuuri-Toimitus (fi)

Bereczki Bálint - JazzMa (hu)

Olasz Sándor - riff.hu

3500 HUF 11 EUR

Orchestra Nazionale Della Luna: Selene's View

01 Fragmentos del Silencio 9:41
02 Data Lake 5:38
03 Bialystok 3:59
04 Doubt Factory 7:19
05 Conflictuous 3:39
06 Transience 5:15
07 Kompelo 5:44
08 Overexploited 4:16
09 E-peli 4:51
Total time 50:25

The album is available in digital form at our retail partners


Selene, the goddess of the moon looks at the earth from the outside. Concerned but distanced. Objectively and with an obvious critical spirit. 
The group approaches jazz with the same offbeat spirit. They want to keep what’s essential, a language open to all influences and above all, a space for listening, interaction, dialogue, freedom and self-expression.
What else? Well, again in the wake of this lunar gaze, the compositions are imbued with lucid thinking about our times, our societies, and the new paradigms we face. Ecological crisis, crisis of work, crisis of meaning. Economic crisis, demographic crisis, migration crisis, social crisis, political crisis.
Stop it, oh oh oh... Do we see all this from the moon? Yes, but with a very special cocktail of lucidity – the kind that means we’re not lying to ourselves. With humor – otherwise we wouldn’t be able to stay positive. With commitment – otherwise we’d be making meaningless songs about nothing. 
And with hope – otherwise we wouldn’t be burdening you with all this.

Fragmentos del Silencio is constructed from newly composed melodic fragments Kari Ikonen wrote for his arrangement of an old Argentinian tango «Silencio». The text of this Carlos Gardel classic tells about the painful nocturnal silence of lonely mothers who have lost all their sons in war. Unfortunately this topic is now as actual as ever.
Data Lake refers to Lamartine’s famous poem. Artificial intelligence, coupled with the hyperactivity of our social networks and connected devices, is generating an enormous amount of digital information about each and every one of us. There’s no escaping the progress of our technologies. The key question is: what do we do with all this data, and who does it  belong to? Will it generate more well-being and more freedom? Or will it be used to dominate us economically and politically? Questions about the balance to be struck between nature and technology, between progress and balance, between freedoms and constraints, are the order of the day. The word Data Lake, inspired by a natural element to describe a technological concept, poetically symbolizes this tension.
The Polish city of Bialystok recently got a massive EU-funding for building bike lanes to its streets. They did, with a plan to immediately return them to car lanes as soon as the support has been received. Just one example how the eco-funds are being misused everywhere. 
Doubt Factory. In the space of just a few years, social networks have revolutionized the way people communicate around the world. They have also served as a revolutionary tool against certain powers, or conversely as a tool for conditioning the masses by economic and political powers. But this particular medium has ended up leaving as much room for information as for misinformation or fake news. In order to destabilize states and influence elections around the world, there are now veritable factories for generating doubt, a real virus for our democracies. The development of AI, without a framework to limit its abuse, will further accentuate this phenomenon.
The word Conflictuous doesn’t officially exist, so it’s a bit conflictuous to use it. But as the word itself has issues, it describes quite well the complexity of all the huge problems humans have on Earth.
Transience, from latin transientem. Nothing in our lives is permanent. The only permanence that exists is that everything is always changing. So everything that seems fixed is only ever temporary. 
The human mind, in search of certainty, often finds it very difficult to accept this. But it is in the awareness of the transience of the present that we can feel most alive. The composition is inspired by a rhythm called Georgina, which is very popular in Iraq and Syria.
Neither does the word Kompelo exist, but in Finnish it sounds like it could be a clumsy fairy-tale character, who struggles passing all the awkward situations in its daily life – just like the mankind does. The theme of Kompelo is written with a semi-dodecaphonic system, where each chord includes one note from the previous one, creating a bit more tonal feel.
Humans are Overexploited. Nature and our planet also. Even animals and machines are getting overexploited. No one escapes this reality at our present times. In the classical indian music, the melakarta offers a reservoir of 72 ragas – scales – of 7 notes. Of all these scales, the one most altered upwards is 1 #2 3 #4 5 #6 7. I thought it might be symbolically interesting to choose this one to represent the phenomenon of overexploitation.
The last track, E-peli is the relief from all these hard topics. E refers to musical Events that are being played on specific hand cues in this peli, Finnish word for game. Also, Epeli means a rogue or a rascal, usually in an affectionate way.

Kari Ikonen, Manuel Hermia

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