Akira Kosemura: Someday EP

With two earlier EPs, Our Own Picture (Schole) and The Cycle of Nature (1631 Recordings), already having materialized, 2017 is shaping up to be an especially productive year for pianist-composer Akira Kosemura. This third outing presents multiple sides of his artistic persona, two that are familiar and one less so: on the one hand we have two versions of “Someday,” the lovely song featuring guest vocalist Devendra Banhart that first appeared on Kosemura's 2016 full-length Momentary: Memories of the Beginning, plus a solo acoustic piano improvisation; on the other is a track featuring Kosemura playing synthesizer and electric piano, something of an outlier in the totality of work he's issued to date.

The reworked treatment of “Someday” introduces the EP, with Banhart's gentle vocal as appealing in this new arrangement as it was when first encountered a year ago. Wrapped in a blanket of acoustic guitar, organ, and strings, the lulling ballad, replete with its hypnotic ticking pattern, takes on an even dreamier quality in the update—an assessment made easier when the piano-centric original is also included with the release. So titled because it was recorded live at a church, “Stillness of the Holy Place” revisits the solo improv style of Kosemura's other 2016 album, One Day. At a generous ten minutes, the piece offers a fine example of his piano artistry, especially when its soothing sounds are rendered with such elegance and feeling.

The EP's most unusual setting is “Sphere,” a sparkling “polyphonic ensemble track” that sees him exploring space-ambient territory armed with synthesizer sequencer patterns and adding a subtle lounge jazz-style feel to the piece with electric piano soloing. In light of “Sphere,” one can't help but wonder what Kosemura's next move will be, even if the evidence at hand—three EPs in four months—suggests one won't have to wait long to find out.

April 2017