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Album Review: Komorebi - Sunlight Through Trees
Cover image of the album Komorebi - Sunlight Through Trees by Deuter
Komorebi - Sunlight Through Trees
2024 / Curve Blue
44 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
I've always found sunlight filtering through trees to be a profoundly beautiful and spiritual experience, but I've never had a name for it. "Komorebi" is the Japanese word that translates as "sunlight filtering through the foliage." That is also the title of Deuter's new album, which includes seven original pieces composed in a classical new age instrumental style and features piano, strings and wind instruments as well as sparse electronics. With more than sixty albums to his credit (the first one was released in the 1970s), Deuter is a true pioneer of the new age music movement and one of its leading artists. Largely a self-taught musician since childhood, Deuter has always been drawn to the sounds of nature as well as musical instruments. His music has always combined acoustic and electronic elements with ethnic instrumentation and nature sounds: from Tibetan singing bowls to flutes to piano and keyboards to bird songs, crickets and the sound of water. Komorebi - Sunlight Through Trees is somewhat different from his earlier work with its classical feeling and more traditional instrumentation, keeping most of the supporting electronic elements in the background. Much of the album is quite ambient, providing beautifully relaxing and soothing music that is very easy to get (blissfully) lost in.

Komorebi - Sunlight Through Trees begins with a piano solo simply titled "Komorebi." The piece flows at an easy tempo and makes very effective use of the piano's pedals and reverb to create a dreamy atmospheric sound. Demonstrating the beauty of simplicity, it's a very effective start! The second track is "Komorebi - The Walk," and includes piano, violin, harp, flute and recorder, plus occasional synth sounds. The theme from the first track recurs throughout the piece, going in somewhat different directions and expanding from 6 1/2 to just over ten minutes - plenty of time to let the music work its own special kind of magic. From there, we go to "Enchanted Forest," which is a much more symphonic piece that focuses on the strings to tell its engaging story of wonder and awe. "Silent Glow" paints a stunning picture of a peaceful sunrise and the promise of the start of a new day. Strings also take the lead on this one, which includes the sound of flowing water behind the almost ambient music - very warm, atmospheric and soothing! The piano returns to a more prominent position in "Clairière," which also features flutes, cello and electronics along with a bell-like sound in a few places. No one instrument is the "star" in this piece, creating more of a musical dialogue while expressing feelings of tranquility. "Anemoi" (Greek for "winds") features a melancholy solo on violin or viola over dreamy electronic background sounds. The final track, "Anemoi - Touch," is a short reprise of "Anemoi" with more strings (cello and viola or violin) plus some atmospheric keyboard at the very end.

Komorebi - Sunlight Through Trees is a beautiful musical journey well-worth taking! It is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes, and many streaming platforms including Spotify. Very highly recommended!
June 13, 2024
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