Akira Kosemura: One Day

Akira Kosemura recently issued Momentary: Memories of The Beginning, a fifteen-song collection of panoramic scope featuring vocal and instrumental settings. In marked contrast to its encompassing presentation, One Day now appears a mere three months after its predecessor with ten improvised piano pieces the Tokyo-based Schole co-founder recorded in a single afternoon. Since his first album, It's On Everything, appeared in 2007, he's created material for commercials as well as stage productions (the 2012 ballet piece Manon) and film scores (2014's Embers soundtrack).

To create One Day, Kosemura used the piano he played as a child in his family's home; no one should be surprised, then, that the music produced that afternoon is characterized by warmth and intimacy. The music appears to flow through him without premeditation, as if he was able in the moment to draw upon the many years spent refining his technical command and developing his artistic sensibility.

The piano itself is obviously not a world-class concert grand, but if anything its dusty, time-worn character enhances the recording. The action of the piano becomes as much a part of the presentation as the sounds generated by his fingers touching the keys; a light ambient mist coats the music to enhance the homey feeling, and a careful listen sometimes reveals traces of extra-musical sounds (traffic noise, the creak of the piano bench, and the like) working their way into the background.

Ten impressionistic pieces are included, all of them delicately rendered and generally wistful in spirit; while they're all pretty, none is perhaps prettier than “Famile,” as touching a piece as any in his songbook. One Day isn't the sound of Kosemura aggressively exorcising demons but rather the sound of an artist expressing his inner self in pianistic form. While it might on paper give the impression of being a less significant work compared to some of his more ambitious productions, One Day is perhaps an even more revealing collection in the way it presents him so nakedly.

September 2016