The titles of the works give some idea of where the music is coming from: "Spring View: The nation is ruined, but the mountains and rivers remain (after Tu Fu)," "Summer grass/all that remains/of young warriors' dreams (after Basho)," "Occasional Poem on an Autumn's Day: When I am at peace, I let everything go (After Ch'eng Hao)," and "A snowy morning/and smoke from the kitchen roof--it is good (after Buson)."
A local world, then, after the wars have ended, all is still. That is the feeling one gets from the music. It takes sheer pleasure in the combination of tones, yet the expression goes beyond a pure sounding to evoke moments of peace through all the four seasons, peace and loss, then transcendence.
This is piano music that comes out of Satie, tonal Cage and Feldman, through to its own territory, in a radical tonality vein typical of the Cold Blue label yet very much in its own right.
It is a beautiful evocation that relies not on the typical linear connectedness of standard melody but rather has simultaneity that arises from piano soundings that link with a sort of an abstract disconnect of fragile tonal events which nonetheless have poetic flow when experienced together.
There is beauty, a spacious unraveling in no hurry to get to an end point, yet each movement stays a little while and then is gone.
This is another very entrancing program from Cold Blue. Peter Garland weaves a web of expressive, muted magic and we readily fall under its spell.