First Album「TEMPEIZM」

Released on June 18th 2008 (EMI Music Japan), on sale also on Amazon!


1. Flame
This piece has changed forms since I first composed it, and has become more intense and passionate like a true flame. A flame can burn soft and delicate at times and then rapidly turn strong and fierce. It’s composed of so many different emotional elements, just like a human being.


2. Ichigo-Ichie
I composed this for a friend’s wedding, thinking of all of my precious encounters with my past teachers, mentors, and friends. “Ichigo Ichie” (once in a life-time meeting) means that even though you meet someone today that you may continue to see, this specific time, place, and situation will never be the same again, so cherish every moment. I hope that those listening to this piece will be able to reflect upon their special encounters.


3. Etude
This is my very first piano composition. I composed this for myself to improve performance, skill and technique. I believe that etude pieces are effective if the technical difficulty is uniform throughout the piece. Thus, I recomposed it numerous times to get to this final piece. The chromatic scale is used abundantly throughout, and it is necessary to have pliable fingers to play this piece properly.


4. Fantasy
This piece has been strongly influenced by progressive rock music as I tried to express sounds of a three-piece-band of drum, bass, and piano. “Fantasy” was composed to be free of any musical formats and rules, it has irregular timing and a completely original style that cannot be categorized in any specific genre. I imagined an adventurous exploration of the universe and space and named this piece “Fantasy”.


5. Tears of a Dragon
This piece was inspired by the Japanese fairy tale, “Tatsu no ko, Taro” (Taro, the Dragon’s Son). Taro goes on a journey to find his mother who was turned into a dragon. I tried to express the last scene of the story where the dragon mother swims from the surface of the lake into the mysterious colored sky with tears flowing from her eyes, as she leaves behind her human son.

「天平さんの曲を聴くと、しまい込んでいた自分の過去を次々と思い出す」というメールをある人から頂きました。その方は高校生の時に大事な方を亡くされていて、メールの中には二人の想い出が鮮明につづられていました。僕は不思議とその二人の想い出を鮮明に想像出来、まるで自分が体験したかのような感覚におちいりました。二人の想い出が他人のものとは思えなかったんです。この曲はその二人の想い出のサウンドトラックであり、二人の為のコンソレーションです。New York Piano Academy の教会で夜一人でピアノを弾いている時にふとこの曲が生まれました。ずっと没頭して弾いていると暗い教会の端で一人の男性が聴いていたらしく「とても美しい曲だね、アメイジングだ。」と言われ、そこでわれに返りました。その時、この曲を完成させようと決めました。

*ニッポン放送「上柳昌彦のお早うGoodDay!」テーマ曲 2007年10月~

6. Consolation
I received an email that started off “When I listen to your compositions, it helps brings out allof my past memories that I had hidden away.” She continued to write about how she lost a veryspecial person in high school, and the email was filled with all of her memories with this person.I was so drawn in by her clear memories that I felt like it was my own experience. I wrote thispiece to be the soundtrack for their short lives together, and hope it is a consolation for them.The melody came to me naturally one night when I was playing piano alone at the church in the NewYork Piano Academy. I was so focused on playing that I didn’t even notice that there was someonelistening in the back. He commented “what a beautiful piece, its amazing”, and that was when Irealized that this would be my next composition.

* Theme song for the daily morning radio program on Nippon Broadcasting System, Inc. (Incいるかな?) October 2007 –


7. Diablo Waltz
This piece expresses the dance of the “Kishin”” which are Japanese demons (gods). These Kishinhave superhuman powers that surpass our human senses. They can only be considered Kishin, when theyhave both strength and determination of the “demon”, plus the natural gift of the “gods”. Thiscomposition was strongly influenced by the Hungarian pianist, Georges Cziffra.


*ニッポン放送「上柳昌彦のお早うGood Day!」テーマ曲 2007年10月~

8. Kimi-Ga-Kureta-Mono (What You Have Given Me)
Sometimes you realize the importance of something when you have already lost it. Those thoughts come in the form of memories, of a smile, of the special moments, of the arguments, etc.

* Theme song for the daily morning radio program on Nippon Broadcasting System, Inc. (Incいるかな?)

October 2007 –


9. Despair
This composition was written when I broke my left finger. Piano, which was the focal point in mylife had been taken away from me, and I wasn’t sure if my fingers would ever move the same way again, leaving me feeling hopeless and unsure. The only thing I could do was to play the piano with my right hand. Although I was feeling so low and unmotivated, I still wanted to play the piano and I ended up composing this right-hand-only piece. I tried to express the deep despair that I felt, as well as the small glimmer of hope that I saw amongst the darkness.

10.Area 51

10. Area 51
In this piece I tried to express the Japanese MLB player, Ichiro. His play style is so speedy andspectacular, yet so beautiful as he changes his form smoothly like flowing water. This piece is divided into three parts; the first part starts with Ichiro at his best, in a lushes green ballpark; the second part is the dark period when any genius athlete has a slump and goes through mental and physical torment; the third part is his rise out of the darkness, back into supremacy by breaking records, and leaving behind a legacy. I finished this composition right before recording this album, thus, this version of “Area 51” is the absolute first time I have ever performed this to an audience.

組 曲  【 夏の記憶 】
11.プ ロ ロ ーグ
12.空 を 駆 け る
13.渓 谷
14.神 社
15.A K I


Echoes of Summer, Suite

11. Prologue
12. Through the Sky
13. The Ravine
14. Jinja
15. AKI

This suite was composed of my memories from the summer of 2004. When summer is around the corner, I feel so anxious, and when summer is ending, I feel so melancholic. Although summer comes every year, I feel this way because, once one summer goes by, I can never experience that summer again. The summer of 2004 commenced as the sun rises to start the day. The weather was so immaculate, that being outside, I felt like I was flying through the bright blue skies. It was July 19th, my best friend and I spent the day driving through the mountains and swimming in ravines – that was one of my most memorable birthdays. The sun rays were sparkling against the clear, soothing river. The solitary shrine (“jinja”) stood tall amongst the sounds of the cicada, as the sunset glistened through the trees. This mystical moment has been deeply etched in my heart. That summer concluded as the sun sets to end the day.