Day of Life is Bernward Koch’s sixth album of soothing, silky-smooth instrumental music on the Real Music label. The thirteen original pieces are mostly piano/keyboard-based and evoke images of a perfect day. Warm, dreamy, and very relaxing, this could very well be my favorite of Koch’s albums. Not quite a solo effort, Koch’s wife, Christiane Böhm, appears on flute and piccolo on several tracks; and Christoph Koch, Annina Struve, and Johannes Anders play various hand percussion instruments on the closing track. As would be expected of a major Real Music release, this is ideal music for massage, meditation, relaxing, studying, or simply a private musical retreat to a place of peace, beauty, and utter contentment.
Day Of Life begins with “The Enchanted Path,” a piece overflowing with grace, calm, and just a hint of magic. Böhm’s ethereal flute is perfect, adding a breath of springtime. “The Blue Light” is as warm and gentle as a whisper, effortlessly soothing stress and cares away - sigh! I absolutely love “Lonely Road” with its poignant, melancholy mood of reflection. Piano, keyboards, and atmospheric sounds paint a picture in delicate shades of blue and purple - another sigh! “Flowers On the Mountain” is more ambient with warm, pastel colors, and an easy flow. “Irish Sun” is my other favorite. The bittersweet melody has the simplicity of a music box, but the misty washes of sound behind it give it dimension and weight. Böhm appears this time on piccolo, again a perfect fit for the piece. It’s amazing how a simple song can convey such intense emotion. Love it! The title track has a slow, rubato waltz rhythm and is as serene as a nap in a grassy meadow. “Passing Clouds” could be a lovely lullaby for a child of any age - sweetness and innocence set to music. I also really love “Journey to the Sea,” one of the longer pieces. The gently rocking rhythm suggests the peaceful ebb and flow of a very calm ocean, perhaps at sunset. Delicate bells make me think of sparkles of sunshine dancing on the water - another favorite for sure! “Behind the Mountains” returns to a more ambient sound that would be wonderful in a movie soundtrack. Conveying the majesty of a mountain range and a curiosity about what lies beyond it, it’s a gorgeous ending to a terrific album.
I have enjoyed all of Bernward Koch’s albums, but I think Day of Life is his most expressive and evocative work to date. Very highly recommended!
Day of Life
The premier New Age music record label in the world today, Real Music continues releasing music masterpieces on CD. Advocates for sonic works of art as opposed to mere music, Real Music has another winner on their hands with the Autumn 2013 release of Day Of Life from Bernward Koch. Drawing on the essence of classical inspired European romanticism, the 13 track, 61 minute CD features Bernward’s piano and synth keyboards merging together for a dreamlike, relaxing hour of music. At the center of Real Music is their music as a form of healing therapy and there’s a lot to be said for that effect on Bernward’s latest music masterpiece. Commenting on the making of Day Of Life, Bernward adds, ‘The music made me think of memorable days in my life, wonderful memories, from childhood or a few years ago, a sunny and warm day, feeling free and happy. While playing and recording I was in a state of complete concentration — really lost in another world.’ In addition to the piano and synth keyboards on Day Of Life, Bernward also performs guitar, bass, melodica, glockenspiel, cymbals and gong, all fitting together like a complex painting on a sonic canvas. Several musicians assist including Bernward’s wife Christiane Böhm, who adds in flute and piccolo. Fans of Bernward’s other Real Music CD titles will thoroughly enjoy Day Of Life. If New Age music is the source you're seeking for stress relief and meditative relaxation, then Day Of Life by Bernward Koch CD is a worthy sonic remedy for sure.
Silent Star is Bernward Koch’s fifth release on the Real Music label and his ninth album to date. Koch’s longtime fans from around the world will be thrilled with the gentle, beautiful music they have come to love and expect from this German multi-instrumentalist and composer; if you are new to his music, it’s a wonderful introduction. The music was inspired by and is dedicated to Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896), the “father of flight” and an inventor Koch has admired since childhood. Koch composed and recorded the pieces during a very creative period last fall. He wrote thirty tracks and selected fourteen for the album. He also played all of the instruments this time: piano, keyboards, synthesizer, guitar, bass, cymbals, percussion, and programming. Most of the music is very open, free, melodic and soothing, plus a few tracks that are more upbeat and lively - a nice combination. Although the album features a variety of musical instruments, the music is definitely piano-based with the other instrumentation adding washes of color and enhancing the moods.
Silent Star begins with “The New Day,” a warm and welcoming piece full of promise and grace. “Softly Awakening” has a more classical style, with steady chords on the left hand and a simple, heartfelt melody on the right; piano and strings create musical magic. “She” is a bit livelier, but just as gentle and sweet - a favorite. “Distant Memories” changes the mood with accordion and bagpipe-like droning sounds telling a different aspect of the story. The middle of the piece is more ethereal, and then the bolder first theme returns and closes the piece. The title track is gorgeous. Atmospheric sounds, strings, and angelic voices suggest vast open space while the hypnotic piano melody soothes and relaxes - love it! “Cafe Noir” picks up the tempo a bit and adds a little more orchestration. Flowing with a gentle sparkle, it evokes feelings of effortless floating through space. “Vision Emerging” is another favorite. I love the magical feeling of freely moving from star to star, savoring the wonder of it all. “Harmony Found” is joyful and innocent with a light touch and faster pace. “The Color of Spring” is soft pastel colors and easy contentment. “Anthem” is my favorite. It begins as a piano solo, adding strings, voices and other keyboard sounds as it gracefully evolves. “Ice Flowers” delivers a chill. The reverb on the keyboard conveys the feeling of being lost and alone, but as the piece unfolds, it becomes warmer and less desolate. “Remember Blue” is a surprise. An upbeat Latin-style rhythm gives it a pop flavor and is likely the most radio-friendly piece in the collection. Warm, energetic, and very catchy, it’s a delight! “Shades of Rain” closes the album on a more subdued note. Slow, graceful and kind of melancholy, it’s a lovely way to end our journey.
The release date for Silent Star is September 27, 2011. It will be available wherever Real Music’s releases are sold. It’s a beauty, so check it out!
Silken melodies float on soft languid tones, soothing the mind and easing away the cares of the day. A few of the fifteen tracks have strong but quiet rhythms, while others are more ethereal. (…) "Gentle Spirit" is a soothing balm for the mind and soul. It's a beauty!
Kathy Parsons - MainlyPiano.com
Fueled by reflective dreaminess and soft, emotive piano melodies, Koch creates tapestries of soft instrumentation and lilting melody lines. Serene music for relaxation and quiet times.
Music Design - In Review
Montagnola – Dedicated to Hermann Hesse
“Der Nachhall von Leidenschaften, Gedanken und Gefühlen strömt durchs Zimmer, und man sitzt still da, als ob eine Bewegung, ein lautes Atmen den versonnen Spieler aufschrecken, den Zauber zerstören könnte. Gerade leiser gehört entfaltet “Montagnola” seine Wirkung. Fein gemacht von Koch sowie der Tontenchnik. Und eine CD, deren Klang eine solche Atmosphäre erzeugt, gehört ganz sicher in diese Rubrik.”
Audiophiles Highlight 09/2008 – STEREO
“Montagnola” transportiert andere Aufmerksamkeiten vermittels meditativer Musik, so, also würde Koch einer philosophischen Aufforderung in Hesses “Glasperlenspiel” folgen: Jeder von uns ist nur ein Mensch, nur ein Versuch, ein Unterwegs. Er sollte aber dorthin unterwegs sein, wo das Vollkommene ist, er soll ins Zentrum streben, nicht an die Peripherie.”
„This is an outstanding release from the German composer. I am amazed these compositions are improvisations; they have the feel of a polished performance, and it is a testament to the undisputed skill of the composer that these unrehearsed pieces are as close to perfection as one could wish. Lovers of heart-felt, deeply personal, reflective and gorgeous piano music should acquire this release. The accompanying CD insert is interesting- it contains a poem by the great man (written in 1941 and entitled ‘Steps’) along with photographs.“
Piano Heaven Award Winner, May 2008 - Stephen Cairns, piano-heaven.co.uk
Walking through Clouds
Although there is a free-floating element to the atmospheres Koch creates, most of the 16 tracks clock in like tightly structured pop tunes, and the melodies — and their innocent charm — seem to get more captivating as they go along. In a world so cynical, it's wonderful that people can take a CD cover of clouds and butterflies not only seriously, but also as an opening to a seriously joyful musical remedy.
All Music Guide
Bernward Koch's signature mix of intricate compositions and flowing piano technique appears once more on Walking through Clouds. Koch's sparkling piano work is accented by flute, guitar and understated percussion, making this a reflective, relaxing and sentimental collection of contemporary instrumental music.
All Music Guide
„Zeitlos-schöne Klänge, die entspannen helfen, Bilder in den Köpfen entstehen lassen, gleitende Melodien und klare Songstrukturen, ...ein akustischer Wohlfühltrip im hektischen Alltag“
„Das Projekt Pablo von Bernward Koch ist eines der besten auf dem Gebiet des Latin Jazz. Mit einer reichen instrumentellen Ausstattung und einer präzisen Produktion hat PICANTE eine Fülle von Melodien, einen rhythmischen Teil, der nicht übertreibt und eine gute Abstimmung unter den Musikern.“
World & Voice, Spanien
„Eine temperamentvolle Mischung aus mitreissenden Latin-Sounds, urban klingendem Jazz, knackigem Funk und dezent eingestreuten Rock-Elementen. Die zwölf eingängigen Songs laden mit witzigen Arrangements zur musikalischen Sommerparty ein.“
„Ein scharfgewürzter Cocktail aus Latin, Reggae, Rock, Funk und Jazz, mit viel Spielfreude perfekt eingespielt.“
„Gute Mischung aus Pop, Jazz und Easy Listening...vor allem in den USA bereits ein grosses Publikum, ...als Komponist ein begnadeter Melodiker mit feinem Gespür für die wirksamste Balance zwischen Eingängigkeit und musikalischer Raffinesse der neue Bert Kaempfert“
Laguna de la Vera
„Klassisch klare Harmonik und jazzige Improvisationen, ...verträumte Eleganz perlender Melodien bei formaler Gliederung verraten einen Komponisten, der sein Handwerk gründlich gelernt hat“
Wege & Visionen
„Erholung für die Seele“
„Musik für die Seele und gegen Flugangst, gut geeignet zum entspannen“
“Großartige, funkelnde Pianomelodien”
Napra Review (USA