Japanese composer and pianist Daigo Hanada journeys through uncertainty and melancholy into hope on 13-track sophomore albumSatori. The delicate and vulnerable piano record comes together one note at a time woven together despite a sudden and debilitating physical illness, pushing through darkness into the light of optimism.
Opening with the gentle stylings of “Shimmer in the Sky,” into the melodic, slow-burn title track, the album is an uplifting tapestry of sounds led by the highs and lows of Hanada’s personal experiences. From the hazy build of “Dear,” to the lull of “Yura,” the strength of Satori lies in its ability to come across cohesive yet distinctly unique in each song.
Stand-out offering “Kage,” is a layered and emotive production which brings out the raw, more vulnerable aspects of the album while the intricate weave of “Happiness Is,” evokes joy in us. The meditative highlight “In The Wind,” moves into the chiming final notes of closer “And It Goes On,” leaving us wanting more.
A comforting soundtrack for those “going through pain and suffering,” the ethereal body of work is an intimate yet expansive sonic world, winding down setbacks and challenges, into a more hopeful space.
Having been surrounded by music from a young age, Tokyo-raised Hanada’s music is a vessel for peace and quiet crafted upon subtle but intensely packed compositions. Heart-wrenching but framed by upliftment, Satorimight draw from his personal experiences but feels like a soothing experience that each one of us can turn to in good times and bad.