Silent Star begins with The New Day, a somber and serene track that sails on the waves of Koch’s immaculate piano playing. No vocals are needed to make this track properly soar – there is a narrative that weaves itself through all facets of this track. Softly Awakening continues many of the same trends that were originally created in The New Day, but Koch twists the overall sound to play in a much lighter format. During Softly Awakening, listeners have to hear the balance between loud and soft; what results here is something decidedly larger than the sum of its parts.
Distant Memories sits as the longest track on Silent Star, and it is this additional time that grants Koch the ability to add different sides, influences, and styles that were not heard during the introductory part of Silent Star. Vision Emerging provides listeners with the reassurance that an old dog can learn new tracks – where a number of artists allow their albums to gradually wind to a close, Koch’s efforts on Silent Star will keep listeners attentive and focused in until the last strains of Shades of Rain. Shades of Rain represents another solid addition to Silent Star – this relatively (3 minute) short track contains a great deal of personality.
The introductory arrangements contains pathos, a fullness of being that will have listeners continually coming back to the track. If you are a fan of what Koch does on Silent Star, make sure to give his other works a listen. I believe that listening to his earliest discography (especially Flowing, from 1989) will provide listeners with a look into exactly how far he has come. Congratulations to Real Music for releasing Silent Star; it speaks volumes despite focusing on the instrumental side of things.
Top Tracks: The New Day, Le Petit Jardin
Bernward Koch – Silent Star (CD) / 2011 Real Music / 14 Tracks / http://www.realmusic.com