Akira Kosemura: Polaroid Piano
Someone Good

That Akira Kosemura cites Edwin Land's Polaroid film in his title is telling, as Polaroid Piano's music has little of the pristine, time-transcending perfection one associates with digital photography. His gentle and pretty piano miniatures come to us muffled as if heard through a scrim, and, analogous to fading colour photographs from years past, carry with them a sense of decaying memory. Though other sounds occasionally appear—a sprinkle of music box or toy piano, acoustic and electric guitar shadings courtesy of Muneki Takasaka (aka paniyolo), and field recordings from Brisbane and Hobart by Lawrence English for added atmosphere—Polaroid Piano delivers primarily what its title promises: dream-like, dusty piano snapshots of elegiac and nostalgic character ( the mechanism of the piano itself is an oft-prominent presence). “Tale” sounds as if it was recorded at Kosemura's home with him playing piano by an open window through which sounds of children playing filter in. Elsewhere, Takasaka's electric guitar swoops plaintively through the serene tranquility of “Venice” while his guitar slivers augment Kosemura's piano droplets and bird chirps in “Sign.” At twenty-six minutes, it's a mini-album at best but nevertheless a rich and rewarding one.

January 2010