Solo pianist Daigo Hanada was one of my discoveries during this years piano day but I’ve only been able to fully appreciate his beautiful 2017 album Ichiru now and so it’s time to tell everyone that if you like haunting classical style compositions that sound like your listening to a gentle music box piano score, then this is your new favourite album.
Ichiru contains 12 tracks and they all remind me of the initially cute, but also slightly creepy ballerina spinning round in a music box. The recording of each track is done so close to the keys and hammers that each hit of the muted keys lets you hear the soft punch of each key and the sawing of the hammers as the inner mechanics of the piano move around. On floating and fluid tracks like “Butterfly”, it adds a warm closeness. On more creepier tracks like “Weak Me” its more percussive and this whole style of production adds a thick atmosphere to the entire album. I feel like I’m in the room and the room is oppressed.
Usually I do a track by track review but the 26 minute album is really a mood piece about holding a certain space. It’s utterly captivating to listen to and it’s slight tape warm effect in places just adds to that layer of reflection and loneliness. Daigo Hanada has created an amazing piece of work with Ichiru and anyone with a love of the ivories would do well to check this out.
Recommended Track : Butterfly