Sunday 1 August 2021


Taking cues from Nils Frahm and Ólafur Arnalds — and studying under Lubomyr Melnyk — ‘Fading Spaces’ by pianist Wataru Sato is inextricably gentle. It begins with meandering touches of the keys, the spaces between poised like unformed thoughts, before a voidsome chasm opens up into the heroic ostinato at the heart of ‘Fading Spaces’.

This spiralling melody is the form to the track’s introductory formlessness, and is marvellous in its ambivalence — it reaches to optimism, but remains a hair’s breadth from it, almost descends to despair, but lifts off before it falters. There are options here, different pathways as if nothing is finite.

With an exploratory volta in the middle that sees bright variations tumble out from Sato’s fingers, a fervent flash of possibility, the piece purposefully, heavily returns to where it began, a vista of decisions ahead.

  • 🔔 ‘Fading Spaces’ is taken from Sato’s Spaces EP, out now on fledging label 1magine (part of the Disk Union family). You may purchase and/or stream it from a variety of places.

Wataru Sato Internet Presence ☟

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