Designer and musician Mike Lemmon gave birth to his brainchild Neue about three years in the past. Earlier this year, he released an album named ‘Structure’ under the banner of this project. The 33 minute album features ambient soundscapes, drones, haunting beats and warm melodies in layers placed upon layers. Structure commences with ‘Dawn’, which sets the mood for the album starting with the benign sounds of flowing water and chirping of birds. The track introduces a warm piano melody which prepares the listener for what is coming next in this introspective musical journey. As the intro track fades out, electronic percussion beats are introduced with ‘Into the Distance’. In a funky atmosphere set by this track, the listener knows that they’ve taken off on a soul-stirring journey and as the groovy bass discharges, it serves as fuel for imagination and visualization. With the second track ending into a distance, the journey suddenly takes a haunted route with high tempo beats, a cutthroat bass and high pitched notes with expansive reverberation.
Akira Kosemura – Our Own Picture
Kosemura, a Tokyo-based composer, first drew the attention of the international audience in 2007 with his first album ‘It’s on Everything’. Within just one decade this 32-year-old composer positioned himself as one of the most important musicians of his generation.
His album ‘Momentary: Memories of the Beginning’ which was released on June 16th, 2016 featured Devendra Banhart among other notable music industry giants. Akira also manages his own record label, called ‘Schole’ and helps young talents to reach their full potential.
Akira Kosemura’s new EP ‘Our Own Picture’ is a journey through an emotional landscape created by changes in his own life. We all live such busy lives that we don’t have the time to reflect on things that truly matter. Who are we now? Who were we and who are we going to become? How does the passage of time influence us? These are the questions that are deeply embedded in the minimalist compositions on Kosemura’s first release of 2017. Unlike many of his previous releases that are characterised by the experiments with electronic music, ‘Our Own Picture’ is far less probing and it remains within the boundaries of the Modern Classical genre.
The EP starts slowly, with a number named ‘You’, as if the author is leading us into an internal discussion about the eternal existential question of the nature of our existence. The song is dedicated to his wife and his newborn son. The atmosphere of the track is almost melancholic like there is some sadness underneath his love and devotion to his family. ‘You’ is a highly self-reflective track that establishes the tone for the rest of the EP. Like on the ‘One Day’ album, released in September of 2016, Akira uses only the piano to communicate his thoughts and feelings to the audience.
The transition from ‘You’ to ‘Out of The Solitary Mind’, the second track of the EP is almost effortless and natural. The same melancholic atmosphere, the same minimalist composition using only the piano to prolong Akira’s statement about the nature of human experience. As if he’s saying that the most beautiful things can come out of the mind that is accustomed to solitude. The track is inspired by the t
ransformation he went through, from being alone to having a family and being around the people he truly cares for.’ Out of the Solitary Mind’ depicts the depths of loneliness and alienation in the contemporary world, while offering a positive message to its listeners. A simple statement that out of pain and suffering something truly inspiring can be created.
The last number of the EP ‘Joy’ is, in a way, a resolution of the discussion about the fundamental question of human existence. Unlike in the previous two tracks, there is not a trace of melancholy in ‘Joy’. As if the conclusion is that true happiness comes from within us and not from the world we live in. ‘Joy’ has originally been released in 2013 on the ‘Schole compilation vol. 3’. It was re-written for the piano and fits magnificently into the concept of the ‘Our Own Picture’ EP. It makes it whole and well rounded, thus completing Akira’s statement about finding happiness and fulfilment in life.
‘Our Own Picture’ is a remarkable piece of music that can be compared with the works of Nils Frahm or Max Richter. It brings modern classical music closer to the listeners as its minimalist compositions reveal the true nature of our time.
The EP will be released on January the 26th, 2017. This is just the first release of the current year for Kosemura and we can expect more masterpieces from this young and extremely productive artist. Akira has already had some remarkable achievements in his career as he has proven that he can create music for different purposes.
In 2015 he composed music for the Japanese pavilion in Milan Expo and the year before he created the soundtrack for the film ‘Embers’ directed by Junpei Matsumoto. Akira’s ability to express delicate emotions through his music has earned him a well-deserved place in the world of the contemporary classical music and it can be expected that he will continue to grow and improve his work. ‘Our Own Image’ EP is certainly a step in the right direction that the fans and critics alike will be enchanted with.