Nakamura, Tempei: Phoenix

Nakamura, Tempei: Phoenix
Title: Phoenix
Label: CD Baby

Phoenix Vol.1 I want to live free like a bird. That's how I live my life. My wings are my piano, and the reason I can fly freely around the world. My previous album Tsubasa (Wings) was created based upon these thoughts. And from June 2010, I flew with those wings to Europe, carrying an electric piano and luggage weighing over 40kgs, on a musical journey through 12 countries for three and a half months. The journey started with a curiosity. I was curious how my music would be received, and what I would feel in these European countries where the piano was born and where so much music history resides. Concerts at different halls, street performances with my electric piano at world heritage sites, countless moving experiences and encounters. It was an amazing journey, more than words can describe. Journey in Europe compiles the pieces created from these experiences and the inspiration from the different regions of Europe. The collection is not just these five tracks in this recording, but will be completed with the remaining recordings in one of the next scheduled albums, Phoenix Vol.2. Other tracks include Requiem and Rising Sun, which were for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Miracle is in the Method, like Rising Sun, is the first lyricized and first vocalized track. The album Phoenix makes a passionate end with a rerecorded Flame, which is one of the existing three masterpieces. The bird that had flown to Europe had ignited it's soul with the joys of living and returned as a Phoenix. [Phoenix] Phoenix, which is also the album's title, is a symbolic track. The Journey in Europe collection begins with Phoenix and ends with End of Journey, which has the same melodic theme. I have expressed the image of the burning of the soul and becoming a Phoenix that flies to the sky. [History of Warsaw] The improvised piece I did for an encore at a Warsaw concert became the base for History of Warsaw. Warsaw has been through many sad wars and has overcome them. The respect towards the strength and kindness of such proud Polish people, and my feelings for Chopin's heart that lay in the church of Warsaw, must have naturally found their way into the improvisation. [Ukrainian Fantasy] Ukraine was the last country of the long three and a half month journey. There, I found people that expressed their passion and gratitude towards music from their souls. It has given birth to excellent composers and pianists, having a great musical and cultural background. The people also possess a strong passion for music. From an economical stand point, it's difficult to say they are the center of music internationally, but they know the true value of music. Ukrainian Fantasy was created by feeling the passion and sense of exaltation from the crowd, during the concert and the improvisation played in the opening. [Night Train] I took the night train a lot while traveling through Europe. I did an improvisation based on these experiences during a concert in 2011. I arranged this a little to make this piece. Traveling through the darkness. Sometimes stopping at empty places that weren't even stations. When the train stops in the middle of the night at the border while I'm sleeping, a man comes into each room checking passports. These extraordinary experiences not found in Japan made me happy. I would think of what to do in the next country. I would face myself, the traveler. It was because I was in this darkness that I felt alive. The journey continues, inside the moving night train, steadily. [End of Journey] Three months and a half from June 2010, my European musical journey led me to this track. This track encompasses the music, culture, people I met, experiences, and the many memories made in various countries. Sometimes romantic, sometimes full of life, the end of the journey is filled with accomplishment and sadness. [Requiem] & [Rising Sun] I was in my NY apartment when the Great East Japan Earthquake hit on March 11, 2011. I remember when my house burned down during the Great Hanshin Earthquake. I felt powerless, unable to help being so young. Witnessing a tragedy from afar, I wanted to do something this time. And days after the earthquake, Requiem and Rising Sun were completed. Hopes of giving comfort and peace for the lost lives were poured into Requiem. Hopes to lift the spirits of the people in Japan like a rising sun was chiseled into Rising Sun. From these emotions, I wrote lyrics and made Rising Sun into a song, which were both first time attempts. I play this around the world in Europe, the USA and Japan, at charity concerts. I am also involved in the project Rising Sun, sending piano and performance to the disaster sites. For details, please visit my website. The more people can cooperate, the more people we can reach with music in the disaster sites. [Rising Sun Lyrics] Now, bathe in the sunlight and bite into this life Let's find your path of life, together, this is the beginning Now, lift your spirits, lift your head up and let's walk Hands held and not letting go, towards the future, this is the beginning Look up to the sky, see, you and me, we're connected No matter how far, it's important that we can feel each other's lives Don't forget sadness, there are still people that suffer Fighting invisible fear, shed light to those that fight Look up to the sky, see, you and me, we're connected No matter how far, it's important that we can feel each other's lives If life will disappear one day Live for the one you love, and know the reason why you were born Because all of our lives are connected Now, stand up and rise like the sun does Let's all hold hands and take a step Bathing in light, this is the beginning Being born in this world, there are two happy things Meeting you, and finding the reason to live [Miracle is in the Method] Mr. Jun Watanabe started a gym after bringing the skills he learned in the USA on reviving the functions of spinal damage that was said to have been impossible to cure. He chose this path with the wish to save his best friend that had spinal injury. I was deeply moved listening to his TEDxSeeds rostrum. I respected his actions, passion, and love he had, and wished to be able to do something together someday. However, I learned that a week after that speech, Mr. Jun Watanabe had passed away due to an accident. I couldn't believe it and the reality didn't sink in. Those close to him must have been devastated. I created this piece with these thoughts. This piece includes respect for him and encouragement for his friends and those that undergo rehabilitation. Like Rising Sun, this is the first time writing lyrics as well as is a vocal track. The English title, Miracle is in the Method, was his motto with the message being "There is always a method that exists for miracles. The first step is just a miracle, 100 steps makes it common, and there lies a method.". [Miracle is in the Method Lyrics] The road to my dreams is hard, and sometimes I feel I'll give up, but you're there The road I started to walk, is shared by the smiles and hands of friends Hope lost, in tears, you were crying - believing in a miracle, your heart glimmers Don't throw away your dreams, the light will shine through, turn your tears to hope and move on See, you are not alone, the doors of miracles are about to open [Fantasy] This track was influenced by progressive rock and I tried to express the drum, bass and keyboard trio band with one piano. Fantasy is a unique style that isn't confined to any style, and with irregular meters and different genre progressions, the piece itself has an ambience that allows you to imagine adventure and space travel, therefore I named it Fantasy. [Ichigo-ichie] This track is about the memories with my best friends and mentor from my college days. "Ichigo-ichie" means "Treasure every encounter, like it will never recur". I hope that people can reflect on their own cherished encounters when listening to this piece. [Flame] A track create

1.1 Phoenix
1.2 History of Warsaw
1.3 Ukrainian Fantasy
1.4 Night Train
1.5 End of Journey
1.6 Requiem
1.7 Rising Sun
1.8 Rising Sun (Piano Solo Version)
1.9 Miracle Is in the Method
1.10 Fantasy
1.11 Ichigo-Ichie
1.12 Flame

Nakamura, Tempei: Phoenix

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