1 Tale Of Small Wishes

I composed this song based on the story of The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen. When I read it, I was touched by the emotions she had while going through hardship. She chose to see the world according to her own perspective, and brought happiness into the darkness surrounding her. In the end, instead of seeing her life as a tragedy, I felt like she managed to reach serenity and be at peace with the world only using her simple, “small wishes.”

2 Shadows Of The Mind

What will happen next? We face the unknown and we have to confront it on a daily basis. This song expresses my state of mind going through these challenges.

3 Journey

Life is made of many encounters and adventures. This song is about the journey of life.

4 With You, Always

This song is dedicated to my father, who lives in Japan. My dad always thinks of my sister and me first, showers us with love, and supports us in pursuit of our dreams. My sister got married and I moved to America, so both of us now live away from our parents. Although he doesn’t voice it, I think my dad must feel somewhat sad and lonely. I wrote this song with a message for my father saying, "I'm always with you even if we’re apart." The bass and piano start in unison, and I imagine the bass as my father and the piano as myself, spending time together.

5 Foxglove

Foxglove is the common name for flowers in the genus digitalis. Although foxglove extract can be a lethal poison that causes heart failure, it is also used as a medicine for strengthening the heart’s ability to contract. Since the same thing can be said of love—it can fill one’s life with happiness or create heartbreaking feelings—I found the foxglove particularly fitting to represent love’s contradictions, and made it the title of this composition. I also feel that Latin music can express both strong passion and love.

6 Eternal Eyes

When I look at a photo of someone, I sometimes imagine how they felt at that time. There are photos of people smiling, and photos taken with family, friends, and children. When I look at them, I sometimes feel like I am connecting with someone's state of mind even if I don't know the person. This song expresses the energy—sometimes warm and sometimes melancholy—that I sense in the eyes of the people captured by photos.

7 J.J's Painting

This song features the brushwork of Jerome Jennings on drums. I have been listening to Jerome's playing in the Christian McBride trio, and he has always been one of the drummers I wanted to play with the most. I finally got an opportunity to perform with him at the Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition. I remember how happily and enthusiastically the audience applauded after he took only one brief 16-bar solo with his brushes.

8 Run And Rise

When I got to the United States, I felt like I could do anything if I had the genuinely strong desire to rise to challenges and keep running toward them. I put that feeling of running ahead at full speed into this song.

9 Hope

I composed this song after seeing my sister’s daughter for the first time. She was only two months old, and I felt that even when she cries, her tears were full of hope and ambition.


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