Hauntingly beautiful and authentic in every note, such is the mastery of the music of Masako. – Dyan Garris
Music from Masako is always special. She has a real gift for soothing the soul with her sensitive and velvety touch on the piano keys and her excellent composition skills.
Here, in her new album, Wanderlust, we have 11 piano-based tracks which explore her freedom from what we might call the “traditional New Age” genre.
For those that do not know, Masako is a Japanese-born pianist and composer living in the United States.
After a lifetime of making music and teaching, Masako started making recordings 12 years ago. And she has had much success in this New Age genre.
The album, “Wanderlust,” opens with the brief, “Lily of the Valley.” This is a gentle, relaxing piano solo. Following is the flowing, “Ocean and You.” One can almost feel the gentle caress of the ocean waves. Flowing piano atop a bed of soft, ethereal strings, this is to love. Such is the subtle mastery of Masako.
“Wintering Birds” is also ethereal, with piano, truly heavenly, otherworldly wordless vocals, and strings, all perfectly mixed by Tom Eaton. Ultra-relaxing and just lovely through and through. Ditto for “Forestology.” Be sure to catch the video by Michael Whalen on YouTube. This is a favorite on the album. Gentle, but also expansive, this is again, ultra-relaxing. If you get nothing else, get this one.
The title track shines with authenticity, as does all Masako’s music. There is just something special about it all. It’s almost like a private concert that draws you slowly into its depth and beauty and forever changes you in some way.
“Lake Willoughby” is emotionally evocative, gentle and tender, with the soft and unmistakable horns of Jeff Oster winding around the piano. It’s hauntingly beautiful.
Also poignant and gently flowing is “Shades of Memory,” which also has those very soft horns and some very subtle percussion, along with a slightly jazzy feel. Twinkling piano and the rest takes us into a reflective state of mind. Just beautiful.
One of the themes on most everyone’s mind these days is diversity. “The piece, “Diversity” speaks to this this an again gentle manner. This is just sweet in every way, and a call to “oneness” on every level.
In a year (2020), when people were in isolation due to lockdowns, “A Year of Love” seems to speak to remembrance of the love that connects us all regardless of what is going on. Ethereal wordless vocals, soft woodwinds, and piano, all speak again to “oneness.” This is super relaxing and beautiful.
Let the water that is underground come bubbling up to the surface. . .thus is the lovely song, “Aquifer.” Cello melds around scintillating piano to make a lovely and memorable piece here.
The album closes out with the emotionally evocative piano solo, “Wisdom of the Heart.” Piano with balanced equality between upper and lower registers gives us a middle balance needed today.
The ultimate in relaxation, “Wanderlust” is a must for us all.
Get it/listen here or on all streaming platforms: https://www.masako-music.com/
All music composed by: Masako
Produced by: Will Ackerman, Tom Eaton and Masako
Recorded, mixed and mastered by: Tom Eaton
Radio Promotion: LAZZ PROMOTIONS
Ed & Stacey Bonk