Friday, October 30, 2020

Peace on Earth By Hiroki Okano


Peace on Earth


Hiroki Okano

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Peace on Earth has to be the most meaningful title to use in this chaotic and agonising 21st century, and perhaps this album is the panacea that will cure all ills, certainly listening to it does calm the mind and inspire the imagination; here we also have an album that highlights the very best in the New Age music genre.

The multi-instrumentational delights you will find within this album are something of a delight to behold, the flute of Hiroki Okano weaves its spell with each and every composition played, and the best place to start is at the spring of eternal happiness with Mother River, a track so uplifting and beautifully layered, it is the musical equivalent of having a really good hug, something that in this day and age is not that easy to do!

The swirling synths and dream kissed flute leads us into the arms of this next piece entitled Starry Night, a deep but far ranging opus to enjoy, and boy is that easy to do. Okano’s flute is majestic yet tender in its tone, and the performance here is so soothing to bathe within.

Inherited Prayer stands out as a superior flute based track, one that your very imagination takes flight with. For me personally I was taken to a vast redwood forest, and the silhouette of the artist was standing upon the huge branch of a tree playing live to nature itself, how beautiful is it that music can inspire such wonderful imagery.

On our next piece the piano starts our voyage of plenty, and then a wonderful symphonic gesture lightens our way in one of the most beautiful pieces off the album called Fertile Voyage. The symbiotic partnership of the flute and the orchestration was beyond wonderful, and to be honest completely moved me. This is what I would call a composition of great inspiration, from the hands of a heartfelt performance by Okano.

We arrive at the midway point and we come across a track I heard on the radio only the other day entitled Nirvana Westerly. The natural sounds and the stream combine to give us a truly warming flavour, and as if from the mists of the woodlands, Okano’s flute breaks the silence of the day with a pristine performance and the background synths hover with the intensity of an early summer’s morning, in a composition that is as beautiful as a sunrise over the mountains.

Our title track is before us and my goodness this is one heck of an emotionally charged arrangement, the keyboard organ styled sound base is raised upwards with the energy of genius on the track Peace on Earth. The underpinned build here was so craft-fully arranged and engineered it was sublime to listen to, a truly masterful title track indeed, and one that does exactly what it says on the can!

The care and attention to detail that Hiroki Okano has given to the production of this album is off the scale, listen to Dear One's Heart as an example of that love for creation, one can hear the delicacy of bird sound and a stream layered perfectly in the back, whilst the flutes of Okano seem to dance with love within the multi- instrumentational and symphonic brilliance of this offering.

The sensitivity of Pure Child, our next track, is something to respect and appreciate. The gentle piano and flute combination is so charming and loving; one just has to smile with happiness whilst listening to it. There is a well of emotion here that is perfectly balanced within the positivity of the moment, and that resonates quite craft-fully throughout this gentle piece.

Our penultimate arrangement is entitled Walk Here – Kokoperi, this wonderful track brought back some fine memories for me of another artist that Hiroki knows in Nigel Shaw, and his album Dartmoor Roundhouse. The solo flute here was equally effective at creating a blissful moment of musical magic, one that like Nigel’s work, I shall remember for a life time.

We arrive at the last destination on this quite breath taking album, it is called White Moon. This final reverie contains a thoughtful repose, one tinged with a little reflection; it is if we are looking back over our shoulder at the journey taken, and appreciating the experience by the glint of the silvery moon; another wonderfully artistic offering and simply the best way to leave the album.

Peace on Earth by Hiroki Okano has to be one of the best albums to arrive on my desk for reviewing this year, it has everything a new age album should have and far more, it takes you on a journey through nature, and lays out a simple but crystal clear message for us all to acknowledge, Peace On Earth needs to be the new normal now!

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