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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Satoshi Tanaka, Works for Piano, Satoko Inoue

Satoshi Tanaka, Japanese Composer born in the '50s and still very much with us, is not a name I have come across before. Tanaka's Works for Piano solo (EMEC Discos E-112) provides us with a good hour of music, as performed by Satoko Inoue.

Sometimes you get the music, a cover and little else if you receive music in download form. A web search turned up nil. So I have nothing to go on here except my ears.

The music, seven works in all, is quiet in the manner of Morton Feldman. The tonality is loosely chromatic, tied to a key but tenuously. Unlike Feldman's later work there is no obvious pattern of repetition, which of course is fine. Instead we have a linear progression of unfolding, sparse melody, which strikes me as somewhat mystical, perhaps a bit Zen-like in its revelling in the sensuous sound moments in succession.

Pianist Satoko Inoue gives us a sensitive reading. The music haunts our sensibilities and then is gone. We are left with a feeling of peace, but not with a new ager's attempt to force that peace upon us. This music has authentic sensibilities. If you love Feldman this will be in your wheelhouse. It revels in understatement. I would love to hear more of Satoshi Tanaka! Recommended.

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