Released on March 29, “In Moonlight” is the latest digital only EP from the famed Japanese composer, artist and label boss Akira Kosemura. Over the short duration of the four tracks Kosemura once more affirms his reputation to produce simply beautiful music. From time to time he wears his various hats (composer, artist and label boss for Schole Records) and also has this ability to interchange between solo modern classical and those pieces with a contemporary electronica influence, with ease. With “In Moonlight” we find Kosemura once more behind his trusty piano much like his previous release the “Yearbook” EP and (with some help from some strings) the results speak for themselves.

Akira Kosemura composed four piano pieces with the inspirations of the several female images. ‘In Moonlight, Op. 1 & 2’, the series take you to the quiet place, put yourself in the moonlight, a moonbeam breaks then shakes the shadow of you. ‘Minerva’, bearing the name of Roman mythical goddess Minerva, it makes you symbolize a wise and beautiful woman. ‘Trace’, we can image the feeling of her who stands the branch point of life, her past and future. This album shows us the various expressions however, there are the fragile beauty and close protective calmness of all songs, and it’s everything you expect from Akira Kosemura

“Minerva” is so achingly beautiful you will find you cursing it’s brevity. Clocking in at just a mere one minute and nine seconds, Kosemura packs in as much emotion, sweetness and joy into this small cinematic vignette that others would infuse in half an album. The pace of the piece and its sweeping grandeur, that is highlighted by the strings, makes the piece and stirs the emotions in the listener. It’s simply a piece that you would love to see expanded upon as you feel you have heard the snippeted highlights and a full piece would reveal the full story.

“In Moonlight Op. 1” shows Kosemura stripping the music back to man and instrument. No additional instrumentation are included leaving a piece that is quiet naked, both in musical style and in mood. There is an almost sadness that permeates the piece with a feel that is like transitioning from grief through to acceptance. The tone of the piano flows from stark to contemplative with a fragility that is inherant in both styles.

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“In Moonlight Op. 2” while the previous track was more internalized, Kosemura explores a more reflective and hope filled approach, that while not being overly joyful, it feels like it’s heading away from the darkness to more of a normality. You can see in the final third of the piece where “Op. 2” is linked to “Op. 1” as like they are progressions of the piece with a look back to the narrative.

“Trace” of all the forms of music I find that the solo piano modern classical style trumps all others in the way that just one instrument can convey such emotion. There is with the possibly the exception of solo string works, no other style that I find that can speak to me with such a depth that highlights the human condition. “Trace” is a perfect example of this. A track, whose title steers clearing of pointing the listener in a particular direction, it relies upon the pace at which the track is played, the tone of the instrument and the degree of control by the artist to get me thinking. While some music can be cinematic in the way that you can see visuals of a story while listening to it, this particular piece feels like it is steering clear of this trope and opening up the music for personal interpretation.

As with all the Kosemura releases that have come my way, this is not to be missed. Clocking in at just over ten minutes with four gorgeous pieces of music, you won’t be disappointed.

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