Akira Kosemura: Buddhists
1631 Recordings

We typically see work by composer Akira Kosemura appear on Schole, the Tokyo-based label he co-founded in 2007, which makes it a little unusual to find this EP, featuring material he wrote for a Japanese documentary film about Buddhists, showing up on 1631 Recordings, the label co-run and co-founded by Mattias Nilsson (Kning Disk) and David Wenngren (aka Library Tapes) in 2015. No matter: that it does so can only help make more listeners aware of Kosemura's superior musical gifts and by extension the exceptional Schole catalogue. Further to that, the material's contemporary classical tone aligns naturally to the kind of music Nilsson and Wenngren promote on their own imprint.

Fragility, delicacy of touch, minimalism, and melodicism characterize “Introduction,” and with its slow droplets of resonant piano sound, the brief “Quiet” is as soft and serene as its title connotes. The longest pieces, “Living in the Present” and “Buddhists,” provide the most consequential portrait of Kosemura's artistry, and they do so in featuring melodies whose plaintive quality can't help but leave a strong impression. In keeping with the EP title, Kosemura works a percussive dimension into “Follow” by punctuating the piano with a muffled, gong-like sound. Admittedly, there isn't a whole lot of music on offer, with the five solo piano settings adding up to a blink-and-you'll-miss-it thirteen minutes. It is still enough, however, to provide a memorable snapshot of Kosemura's composing style and perhaps lead those previously unfamiliar with his work to begin sampling its riches in greater volume.

May 2016