AMN Reviews: Akira Kosemura – Momentary: Memories of the Beginning (Schole)

61NDAaApi3L._SS500_SS280Evidently, Akira Kosemura has absolutely no need to undergo any kind of regression therapy, no need to be guided by New Age hands to rebirth himself and recall the moment at which he entered the world in order to solve his earliest mysteries and increase his current well-being. Because he seems to have been born smiling, glad to finally be alive, happy among his fellow human beings, whatever emotional challenges they may bring.

An accomplished composer with numerous dew-drop brilliant, ambient tinged solo piano albums (Polaroid Piano, Grassland) under his belt, Kosemura writes unabashedly buoyant music, which has taken more a turn for small chamber ensembles the past few years (Embers, Trio), strings and piano and illusive electronic treatments conveying the fresh, idealistic breeze that blows through him. With Momentary: Memories of the Beginning, he alternates lilting instrumental pieces, like the tellingly titled “Precious”, with “stories” told by guest singers each with a voice as pure as spring water.

Listening to the lyrics, they all cleave closely to a theme that in psychotherapy is known as attachment theory, about what we need to make it when we´ve been hurt or separated from loved ones. The ranks of Kosemura´s main quartet of voices – Yanaginagi, Nikiie (who wrote most of the lyrics), Lasah, and Shaylee – are swelled by American indie star Devendra Banhart on “Someday” and Kosemura´s own near the end. Nearness, tenderheartedness and unflinching optimism, even in the face of heartache – you can´t imagine this ending anything but well, for all involved, forever.

Momentary: Memories of the Beginning is an altogether uplifting experience, elegantly slipcovered and graced with a big peach sun by Shin Kikuchi, and also includes a DVD featuring five pretty enchanting videos.

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Stephen Fruitman