Title: Take A Walk
Artist: Madoka Ogitani
Release Date: 2015 Feb 5
Genre: Instrumental / Acoustic
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: La bèl
With Take A Walk, Madoka Ogitani has produced a wonderful spring inspired work that is perfect for those early morning or evening walks.
Madoka Ogitani: Take A Walk
It’s only five tracks, around 20 minutes long. But this is a luscious instrumental work that you will be humming along with for hours and hours. Madoka is from Tokyo, Japan, and recorded all of the instruments on this release.
There is a quality to this music that has long been missing from many releases in the past several years. Every instrument is crisp and well defined, All of the songs have a definite form and structure that is easy to follow.
“Wind” starts off this release with a simple guitar line, and birds chirping in the background. Piano takes up the melody, accented by a shaker and intermittent hand-claps. It’s a refreshing composition with nice counterpoint and a bit of a bounce that will have you bopping down the trail.
“Humming” takes up the theme next, with an opening of parallel lines played on piano and guitar before the guitar splits off into a counterpoint line, and a glockenspiel takes up the main melody in parallel with the piano. This piece is followed by “Explore” which starts with a more folk-ish style guitar opening, which is accompanied by a second guitar that is reminiscent of Michael Hedges “Live On The Double Planet” era music. Eventually piano and glockenspiel take up the melody, while the bridge introduces a new guitar line on a semi-acoustic instrument.
“Thinking” introduces us to the most introspective of the tracks on this release, and possibly the only use of electronic percussion on the release. But even on this track, the electronics are kept well in the background, in favor of some interesting percussive flourishes on the bridge of the guitar.
The release concludes with “Calmness”, a piece about the state of mind one can achieve when communing with nature on a walk.
The only fault I can find with this release is that the textures feel all too refined. The range of expression is kept within a narrowly defined window. There aren’t any significant gestures to the surprises that nature can bring, either good or bad. It’s all about an even, calm experience of nature. In this respect there is almost a loss of human experience, even while the work is inspired by the wilds of nature.
Take A Walk is a short, highly refined work by Madoka Ogitani. It’s is meticulous in composition and presentation. Possibly too much so as it misses some of the more dynamic elements of nature. However as a work for listening to while taking a walk through a park it is highly enjoyable, and fits a gap for acoustic instrumental works that is sorely lacking these days. Despite my reservations this is a wonderful release for anyone looking for a nice acoustic instrumental work.