Spring has been upon us, and we are transitioning over into summer here in the Northern Hemisphere. With a quiet, colorful sunset-esque soupçon, Hideyuki Hashimoto’s ‘oku‘ helps carry us through the seasonal shift with a rejuvenating assuage of a song, full of marvelous polyphonic and harmonic designs. Performed in what seems to be a singular, live take on a fine piano, the rhythm of the room is as prominent as the notes themselves.
Reminiscent of early 20th-century French composition, or, perhaps, some of Tōru Takemitsu’s gentler work, the minimal, but powerful and complex chromatic movements propel an uplifting melody, painting a magnificent landscape in which listeners may escape. A warm, tangible recording makes certain we don’t miss a breath with each passing note. Nothing is quite as nourishing as an unaccompanied performance by a master composer/ performer, and this hits on all levels. Listen above, or dig deeper below: