Pianists Gumi Shibata http://gumishibata.webcrow.jpand Jenny Q Chai www.jennychai.comhave now recorded his Five Easy Pieces available as a download only from https://michaelvincentwaller.bandcamp.com/album/five-easy-pieces
Ninna Nanna (2013) has a rising and falling melody that is repeated before being subtly varied, though still with a repetitive nature. The opening, rising and falling motif returns, to again be varied. There are many subtleties as the simple theme is worked over. Eventually the music becomes more rhythmic before falling to a momentary halt after which it moves slowly into another variant before drawing to a close.
It is here that the music does seem to pick up on minimalist origins but it is imbued with the haunting nature of Erik Satie.
Per Terry e Morty I (For Terry and Morty) (2012) has a mildly dissonant opening. Again the theme is repeated, another rising and falling motif, before the right hand slowly adds its own decoration before leading to the close.
Per Terry e Morty II (2012) opens with another rising and falling motif but with a more Eastern sounding theme for the right hand. This theme is repeated with insistent chords in the left hand before subtle little changes in harmony occur as the theme moves to a more insistent quality. The music slows as the theme is gently varied with some richer left hand chords, before a gentle variation that leads the music to its conclusion on a resolute chord.
Gumi Shibata, who plays the first four of these pieces, is fully sensitive to all of the colour and texture of these little jewels.
Acqua Santa (Holy Water) (2013) commences with a slow theme that is worked around with subtly changing colours and harmonies. Soon the piano takes up a brighter take on the theme before working through more little variations, so French in flavour evoking Debussy but refracted through a 21st century prism. Eventually the music moves to a more flowing variant before slowing as the theme is subjected to a changing rhythm. It is the slow working out of the theme that leads to a quiet end.
Jenny Q Chai is a sensitive pianist who brings out many nuances in this, the longest of the works on this recording.
These are subtle, finely honed works that hold the attention in a strongly magnetic way and deserve to be heard by a wider audience.
The recording is a little close, occasionally resulting in a wiry resonance on dying notes but it is otherwise clear and detailed.
You can sample these pieces and buy them as a download at: