Exposé Online banner

Exposé Online

Not just outside the box, but denying the existence of boxes.
Covering music from the fringes since 1993.


Satoko Fujii — Hazuki
(Libra 201-063, 2021, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-07-11

Hazuki Cover art

Recorded at home in her practice room in the last months of 2020, Hazuki is a solo album in the truest sense, adventurous and imaginative, filled with emotion and brilliance, she not only plays and composes on the piano, but she is the piano, with the instrument becoming an extension of her inner feelings and restless spirit. The set contains eight pieces ranging from two minutes to just over nine, capturing a variety of feelings and ideas, often changing out right in the middle of a piece with little advance warning, but all for the better surprise. Opening the set is the gentle and passive “Invisible” where a simple repetition with variation is met with intense low-register thunder, and brilliant elaborations going forward, to the point where at its seven minute conclusion the piece has become mystified with complexity, but remains beautiful, setting the stage for the seven tracks that follow. Next up is “Quarantined,” an understandable title for a piece that emerged much earlier last year, but one might not know from the composition itself, which seems to be something of a stop-and-go conversation on the keys, moving effortlessly through sublime sections and mystical upheavals, each moment offering little preparation for the next,with what seem like bits of improvisation interspersed between them. Elsewhere in the set, “Beginning” offers a short and playful piece barely over two minutes in length, but fully saturated with color and brilliance. “Expanding” makes room for powerful and intense melodic abstractions as the piece develops in a stop and go fashion, again like a conversation of sorts. Closing the set is “Twenty Four Degrees,” a reference to the Celsius thermometer at the time it was recorded, a slow and gentle piece that captures the spirit of oncoming winter. With the CD booklet, the listener gets an alternate, somewhat more technical explanation for each of the tracks, and the genesis of the album overall.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Satoko Fujii

More info


What's new

These are the most recent changes made to artists, releases, and articles.