Suita Titan (The Titan Suite) is the latest album by Iordache, written for and recorded live during the opening session of the ‘Artist in Residence’ programme at ARCUB Bucharest. The programme is a creative platform for the Romanian musical scene, and invites residential artists to become curators and performers on thematic projects involving Romanian and international musicians.
Suita Titan tells stories about a neighborhood in Bucharest (Titan) built in the flourish communist era as part of the Romanian “socialist reconstruction”, for housing reasons triggered by the population boom that followed Ceausescu’s 1966 decree which banned abortion. With such deep roots and historical references in the communist regime of the 70s and the 80s, the album could easily be referenced as a product of nostalgic imagination. But Iordache does not follow this train of thought. Their music interrupts the socialist discourse to tell us something important about the universe of childhood and adolescence: that happiness couldn’t be crushed under the urban reconstruction process.
It’s an album that speaks about outdoors kids’ games, swimming in the lake, first passions or Sunday mornings (Sunday being the only day off of the week). It is flirting with past nostalgia, personalities and events, but not for the ‘good old days’ sake and not in an ordinary way. It opens a door to another dimension of those times, and its keys were carried by kids around the neck not to be lost while being busy exploring life together with their mates.
On this album, Mihai Iordache (alto and baritone saxophones, percussion, melodica, voice and composer) is accompanied by Vlad Simon on trumpet and vocals, by the Spanish saxophonist Daniel Torres on tenor sax, by Adi Stoenescu on organ and by the long time collaborators, guitarist Dan Alex Mitrofan and drummer Tavi Scurtu (from Iordache’s previous albums Garden Beast and One Life Left). The mixing and mastering was done by Uțu Pascu and the original artwork, cover and booklet design belong to
We should have said right from the start that the album cannot be fully experienced without watching also the documentary Iordache – Suita Titan. The filming was meant to gather enough material to produce an advertising clip for encouraging music aficionados to support the album fundraising. In the end, it proved to be a valuable collection of testimonies of Mihai Iordache’s friends and family, which holds authentic historical and personal references valuable in decoding the music. The documentary will reveal the significance of what a new shiny neighborhood really meant (for the song ‘Betoane noi se-nalță azi spre soare’), will illustrate the impact people have in our lives (‘Oara’), what nicknames were given to neighborhood lake (‘Flacs’), what an American television detective has in common with a boulevard in Titan (‘Mannix pe Rebreanu’), what were some of the most successful children gibberish at that time (‘An Tan Tirimogodan’), whether there were any snails around there (‘In Titan’) and whether Nixon knew or not about this Titan neighborhood (‘Nixon la Potcoava’). The documentary subtitled in English can be watched here or below.
Despite the era that contextually led to its inspiration, Suita Titan is not a nostalgic illustration of communist times. The music replaces nostalgia with happiness in a versatile manner, using the past framework (as rusty and grey and ugly as it was) only to point up to the unlimited power of imagination in young generations.
The album comes in a limited series of CDs, includes a booklet with stories and photos from the personal archive of Mihai Iordache and will be released on February 14 this year.
Iordache – Suita Titan (documentary)
- Iordache – alto and baritone saxophones, percussion, melodica, voice, composer
- Daniel Torres – tenor saxophone
- Vlad Simon – trumpet
- Dan Mitrofan – guitar
- Adi Stoenescu – organ
- Tavi Scurtu – drums
- Uțu Pascu – mixing and mastering
- Medicine Madison – original artwork, cover and booklet design