09 Satoko FujiiPiano Music
Satoko Fujii
Libra Records 201-067 (librarecords.com)

Prolific Japanese avant-garde pianist and composer Satoko Fujii has shown yet again on her newest release that she continues to push the boundaries of jazz to new limits. The listener is taken on a peaceful yet eerie journey through an ethereal and transcendent soundscape unlike any other. Both pieces are penned and mixed by Fujii herself, showcasing her behind-the-scenes skills as well as her thorough involvement in both the performative and editorial aspects of the record. For anyone who wants to take in a full musical experience that tells a true and almost lifelike story of its own, this album is a great pick.

The almost-19-minute-long opening track Shiroku is slow to unfold but allows the listener to immerse themself fully and take on an almost meditative state, following the smooth ebbs and flows, crescendos and decrescendos of the music. What makes the compositional aspect of the record unique is the fact that both pieces are made up entirely of one-to-two-minute-long recordings on the prepared piano that have been forged together and overlayed seamlessly, creating a sonorous landscape for the ears. Fujii calls the result of this technique a “sound collage,” something new to her and which she describes as making music “like building with Legos.” The album closes with Fuwarito, a slightly livelier piece that has shorter melodic and rhythmic phrases that lend a slight note of positivity and brightness to the music.

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