Akira Kosemura: Tiny Musical

Tiny Musical perpetuates the pastoral melodicism Tokyo-based Akira Kosemura showcased so effectively on last year's Someone Good release It's On Everything. On his second full-length solo album, the Schole leader's piano-centered music again overflows with life-affirming spirit and refreshes like a late-afternoon summer breeze. His music's innocent and nostalgic in spirit and listening to it is analogous to flipping through old family photo albums and remembering treasured childhood moments biking through the countryside (“Departure”) or lazily lolling at the beach on a peaceful afternoon (“Seaside”).

“Departure” brings a rhythmic emphasis to Kosemura's music in the form of lightly swinging beat programming and shaker percussion accents though one's attention is equally drawn to the lulling, sing-song melodies played by his primary instrument, piano. Numerous tracks are enhanced by programming, field recordings, and electronic touches (e.g., “Just a Few Minutes,” “Departure,” and “Remembrance,” created using fragments from the recent Afterglow, a Schole collaboration between Kosemura and Haruka Nakamura), but Kosemura's most affecting pieces are the solo piano settings, such as the alternately jubilant and reflective “Light Dance,” where his artistry is allowed full reign (the overly busy experimental set-pieces “Sky” and “Glim” that follow shows how much more appealing the starker presentation can be). The later “Light Dance-Home” variation, this time created using classical guitar and pianica (a melodica -like instrument with a keyboard and a harmonica-like mouthpiece you blow into), brings out the song's waltz melodies in equally affecting manner. His elegant piano playing is again spotlighted in “Moon” where a slow tempo and contemplative mood conjures the image of someone musing upon the planets on a quiet summer night. As ear-catching as they might be, no amount of outdoors sounds or electronic rhythm enhancements can equal the simple beauty of the solo piano flowing through the wistful closer “Smile.”

November 2008