Day of Life
2013 / Real Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Day of Life is Bernward Koch’s sixth album of soothing, silky-smooth instrumental music on the Real Music label. The thirteen original pieces are mostly piano/keyboard-based and evoke images of a perfect day. Warm, dreamy, and very relaxing, this could very well be my favorite of Koch’s albums. Not quite a solo effort, Koch’s wife, Christiane Bohm, appears on flute and piccolo on several tracks; and Christoph Koch, Annina Struve, and Johannes Anders play various hand percussion instruments on the closing track. As would be expected of a major Real Music release, this is ideal music for massage, meditation, relaxing, studying, or simply a private musical retreat to a place of peace, beauty, and utter contentment.
Day of Life begins with “The Enchanted Path,” a piece overflowing with grace, calm, and just a hint of magic. Bohm’s ethereal flute is perfect, adding a breath of springtime. “The Blue Light” is as warm and gentle as a whisper, effortlessly soothing stress and cares away - sigh! I absolutely love “Lonely Road” with its poignant, melancholy mood of reflection. Piano, keyboards, and atmospheric sounds paint a picture in delicate shades of blue and purple - another sigh! “Flowers On the Mountain” is more ambient with warm, pastel colors, and an easy flow. “Irish Sun” is my other favorite. The bittersweet melody has the simplicity of a music box, but the misty washes of sound behind it give it dimension and weight. Bohm appears this time on piccolo, again a perfect fit for the piece. It’s amazing how a simple song can convey such intense emotion. Love it! The title track has a slow, rubato waltz rhythm and is as serene as a nap in a grassy meadow. “Passing Clouds” could be a lovely lullaby for a child of any age - sweetness and innocence set to music. I also really love “Journey to the Sea,” one of the longer pieces. The gently rocking rhythm suggests the peaceful ebb and flow of a very calm ocean, perhaps at sunset. Delicate bells make me think of sparkles of sunshine dancing on the water - another favorite for sure! “Behind the Mountains” returns to a more ambient sound that would be wonderful in a movie soundtrack. Conveying the majesty of a mountain range and a curiosity about what lies beyond it, it’s a gorgeous ending to a terrific album.
I have enjoyed all of Bernward Koch’s albums, but I think Day of Life is his most expressive and evocative work to date. It is available for pre-order from Real Music, Amazon, and iTunes. The official release date is September 10, 2013. Very highly recommended!
September 3, 2013
Review by Michael Debbage