We first introduced haruka nakamura’s first full-length piano-based album ‘twilight’ in 2010. The studio-recorded album was extolled and acclaimed by fans and critics alike in Japan. Building on the strengths and success of its predecessor, haruka nakamura returns with his brand new 4th album, a 2 CD 106 minutes collection entitled ‘Ongaku no Aru Fuukei’ (English Translation: Music with scenery). Recorded at concert hall ‘sonorium’ in Tokyo, the album features the ensemble line-up of ARAKI Shin (saxophone, flute), Akira Uchida (saxophone), Rie Nemoto (violin) and isao saito (drums). The roots of the ensemble trace back to the recording of ‘twilight’ when haruka nakamura first invited each of the members to collaborate on the album ‘twilight’. Since the release and with almost 4 years of extensive touring behind them, the group has since gone on to build a repertoire and develop a musical language of their own, mixing classical rigor with contemporary improvisation both formal and free. With haruka nakamura leading from the piano, they produce glowing sonorities and emotional resonances that are rich in detail and austerely beautiful.
The link to chamber music from hymns and spirituals is fundamental in the music orientation of haruka nakamura. To capture that, ‘Ongaku no Aru Fuukei’ was recorded in the responsive acoustics of the Jun Aoki designed concert hall ‘sonorium’ with Katsunori Fukuoka (fly sound) as the recording engineer. That the album was recorded at the chapel-like hall, rather than a recording studio, makes perfect sense: the recital-like and liturgical nature of this collection closely aligned to the sound and stark beauty of the space itself. The performances which emerged are evocative, intimate and elegantly etched in sombre hues – one that finds haruka nakamura and the ensemble perfectly attuned to each other. ‘Ongaku no Aru Fuukei’ showcases a mix of short tracks and extended pieces as well as a range of durations, as the ensemble balances composed passages with looser free improvisations. It features newly composed pieces ‘SIN’, ‘Shigatsu no Soutei’, ‘Eien’ and reworked ensemble performances based on pieces from his previous album ‘twilight’ and more. Highlights include a breathtaking 19 minutes title track ‘Ongaku no Aru Fuukei’ and the hymn-like ‘Hikari’ which features renowned 9-piece female choir CANTUS.
Presented beautifully as with all kitchen Label releases. The CDs are housed in a natural card gatefold sleeve with a black and white printed image which acts like a cover to insert book. This is then all housed in a matt black box with gold printing on the front and finished with a card obi. A truly beautiful musical work presented in a way that fully reflects the care put into it.