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Peter Garland’s music often addresses ‘memory and loss’, and he’s a master at slipping in subtle variations that create moments of heart-stopping beauty. Aki Takahashi has been playing Garland’s music for 30 years and her intimate understanding of its spiritual core is evident in the judicious way she shapes each note, each phase, each silence.

Garland composed two of the disc’s three works specifically for Takahashi: in the title suite she evokes Japan, Erik Satie, tottery inebriation and autumnal reflection with deadpan tenderness; in Amulet she plays four pianos, although their overlapping textures are deployed sparingly, to sound, says Garland, more like ‘one big piano’. The turbulent Blessingway enjoins her to emulate the ‘dirty’ aesthetic of blues’ guitar! A lovely, fascinating record.

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Piano International, 2017 - ©Rhinegold Publishing