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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Fumiko Miyachi, Transitional Metal

Winds howl outside, snow flies past my window like it knows where to go on this forbidding January morning. And yet still there is music, new music, maybe especially on a day such as this. I turn to something on my pile that I like quite well. Transitional Metal (Metier 28563), a CD program of various compositions by Fumiko Miyachi.

There is a proto-primal sort of diatonicism at work in these works. Major seconds coexist together for example in a harmony not of the smooth and firmly directed sort, but rather of a personal expressive provenance. So too rhythm is pronounced and forward tending, and in its own way singular.

There is a charmingly understated lyricism at play here. Not of the jejune, happy-faced idiocy sort (for that a certain minimalist unnamed comes to mind). There is beauty in the breakup of parts to an immediacy of pulse but as much a sort of neo-classical earthiness that can be detected, yet a trace of the minimal confluence too, all set apart and reserved anew for the Myachian mode.

I love this music. There are pieces for piano duet and piano that feel as if we were auditioning musical transcriptions from an imaginative mind in another galaxy. Then there are "Two Shakespeare Songs" that ring true. And chamber works both smaller and somewhat larger, including an appealing three-part work performed by the Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Band.

The music feels new and very personal. It does not feel pretentious in the least, but instead sings with a nicely turned humanity it is heartening to hear. I recommend this if you want to smile. And why wouldn't you? Fumiko Miyachi is a welcome voice in the sometimes overabundant present new music world. I am happy!

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