Journey of 3 Seasons – The Best of Eric Chiryoku
The Summer of My Contentment
I recall reviewing Eric Chiryoku’s first album, Winter Story, back in 2005. It was long ago, but the satisfaction of the music still remains. His blending of piano and orchestration with Far East elements results in a unique brand of New Age and contemporary soundscapes. Journey of 3 Seasons – The Best of Eric Chiryoku is a 2-disk set continuing 20 tracks of resplendent instrumental music. It offers tracks from his most popular albums, Winter Story, Spring of Life and Autumn Journey. His use of orchestration reminds me of some of the music of Tim Janis, but when he includes some incredible violin leads, then Secret Garden comes to mind. His style, however is his own and never disappoints. The cover art has three bare trees in a field of white snow. To me this is a scene that suggests hopeful times to come.
Autumn Journey lets the leaves fly and the cool winds blow. Where the shade is prominent, the leaves start to fade. There is still plenty of sunshine, but the changes have begun. Winter is on the way and we must get ready. Eric’s tune is unforgettable for its gentle piano melody. The mood is quiet as the clouds drift by and make shadows and sun take their turns.
Regret features a strong piano song with poignant violin embellishments. There is a sense of melancholy as we look back on what could have been. Why did we give up on the dream? The music suggest that despair is just a day away.
Winter was so long and hard, but finally comes the Spring of Life. I must credit Kong Zhaohui of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra for his remarkable contribution to Spring of Life. His violin notes grow and flourish like green plants in sunlight, making the tune lush and deliciously contemplative. Eric’s piano part is that of the thoughtful farmer, adding love to the mix.
Wishes is a song that sounds warmly familiar, but always feels new. We seem to wish for something all our waking life, and then we wish some more when we sleep. It would be foolish to wish for it all, but sometimes it feel right to wish for peace or happiness or friendship. Simple things are the best. Wishes are not just for fairytales.
Terry Ang’s flute is the sound of snow, ice and then snowflakes in the tune Winter Story. Winter has many faces from harsh cold and forceful winds to quiet times with gentle flurries. This song is the music for watching the snow fall delicately on the landscape, painting it white and cleansing the earth of its bleakness.
The song True Courage has a decidedly cinematic feel to it. It has strong, emotional washes of sound throughout that create a picture of struggle, solution and triumph. It is the signal of the uphill battle and the celebration when you get to the top.
Season Romance is lighthearted and upbeat, two very important indicators of people in love. Eric’s tinkling piano sounds like a cascade of happiness and he compliments the violin, flute and the rest of the orchestra. This is the sound of carefree days where time means very little, but intimacy means everything.
The guzheng is this wonderful Chinese plucking dulcimer and it lends its pleasing voice to the song Oriental Blues. Created 500 years before the birth of Christ, it has a history of an illustrious people behind it and its voice is strong and stalwart. It incorporates beautifully into this orchestral ballad bridging the gap between the past and the present.
Eric Chiryoku is more than just an award-winning composer. He is the dreamer, the visionary who injects promise into his songs. This album really covers all four seasons. We just have to add our own memories of summers with friends, family, and happiness into the mix. Thanks to Eric, the music will write itself right in our own hearts.
Rating: Very Good.
RJ Lannan of Zone music reporter , reviewing my compilation album “Journey of 3 seasons”.
love your music…have played some tracks on one of our radio shows and will continue to promote
Andrew Ayers – County Linx Radio (Nov 24, 2013)
Eric Chiryoku is one of most futuristic artists on new age music genre. He may to be a legend musician for the future.
Happyday Newage Radio – Happyday Newage Radio, South Korea (Nov 22, 2013)
WFIT NYC Progressive Radio and TV
New York, NY
Michael Cokkinos – WFIT NYC Progressive Radio and TV (Dec 23, 2013)
Music review “Silent Wind”
A few years ago when I was hanging out regularly at the original POP site, the name of Eric Chiryoku was bandied about with great regularity. Knowing the calibre of artist The Gathering had attracted, I wasn’t surprised at some of the intense praise heaped at his feet; this is a different world to many other websites. Unfortunately, at the time, I only got to hear Eric work on some collabs so I guess this is the very first time I’ve had him all to myself – as it were. Just for the record, Eric is a New Age instrumentalist and while New Age is not my idea of musical heaven, a professional and experienced track definitely is.
Nirvana buddy.19th May 2008
‘Whenever Ifm frustrated and down, I like to reach out for the wind for it brings warmth and calm to my heart. Close your eyes and you can even hear the beauty of its sound….’ Eric says in the song comments and I’d say that is probably the best way to approach this track. Certainly if you are a fan of the aforementioned professional and experienced track, this is everything you would have expected. Music played with great style and emotional content, enhanced by a mix so clean and clear, it’s balm to the ears. Which is what it is supposed to do, I guess.
As I say, I’ve never been a fan of the style but I am more than willing to admit that Eric Chiryoku is an excellent musician in every respect. The main weight of the track is carried by a perfectly rendered piano, aided to perfection by the occasional dab of cello and light strings. All very tasteful in fact. When I am looking for something to chill out to this is the kind of track I would automatically reach for, dramatic without being overblown, pretty without being sugary or sweet. The kind of track, in fact, that should be taken seriously because there is certainly a serious and intelligent musician behind it.
Elegant and gentle New Age. Highly Recommended.
Steve Gilmore – POPSPACE (May 19, 2008)
At present I like to search for heavenly music. And I think I have found some today – in Singapore.
What distinguishes an one-man-orchester of a full orchester? Eric Chiryoku proves that nowadays there is hardly a difference – the magical, clear piano and soft string sections lead to a sometimes sensible, sometimes bombastic arrangement with the most lovely, different colorings which can be expected from an exciting piece of film music.
I couldn’t recognize any clear influences of other artists… Eric mentioned Kitaro and Yanni, I would agree with elements of Kitaro a bit, but the perfect use of original orchestral samples and the romantic classic turns and primarily the magnificent arranged solo violins are high above typical “New Age music”.
Although “Life Journey” includes very melancholy sections which definitely will touch you – we are listening to an excellent composition of fully positive energy.
Eric Chiryoku invites you to a really beautiful “life journey”
Syngularity – The International Online Magazine
An album of such immensely proportionate platinum-like quality should be revered as a treasure and should never ever be used as a coffee mug coaster. The contributing members involved in the creation and completion of this magnificent album deserve a firm but forceful pat on the back for having the decency to share what was writhing around in that deep mind of Eric’s. Ladies and gentleman it is my esteemed pleasure to introduce to you the reason why people like Eric Chiryoku become world famous motion picture soundtrack composers!!!
This remarkable album opens up with Winter Story is not only the opening track to the doors of this album or to the beginning of a season filled with white flakes of bliss but an opening to a truly wondrous state of mind. This track that is so eloquently caressing my senses is arranged with a talent that far surpasses the reaches of any sane thought. The extraordinary flute handle and the benevolence of the piano playing is enough to make a person feel the need to seek out refuge from this at times overwhelming world in a place where no one could find you for as long as you didn’t want to be found.
Season Romance is the difference between the world we live in and the world we sleep to dream of. It is without a doubt good for your entire well being, it’s as though it has the power of healing any negative thoughts that may be bombarding your existence. The violin is a magnificent instrument even when it’s just leaning against a wall waiting to be picked up and played but it takes real talent to accent an already perfect piece of music, accelerating its integrity.
Life Journey radiates orchestral splendor while taking this listener on a ride of mixed emotional cascades of sound. The beauty of the surprising flood of unbridled thrust that fuels through this track’s eccentric flow is astonishing at its best. The violin playing had such a strong grip on my tears it held them at bay until the time for the fall was at hand and then, without any haste, the levee was opened to reveal the salty sea-like water that filled my penetrated soul. What a wonderful piece of music!
Cherish reminds me of the longing that I have felt for the loss of love in its every form and the way it rips your heart from your chest’s comfort. The emotion that is felt by this track’s compositional creator is so powerful that it feels like a first hand experience passed through to all who listen so that they may take comfort in that they are never alone in their states of longing, dismay, and sorrow.
Meadow Whisper… its like actually laying in a vast field of bright green blades of grass, seeing the occasional perfectly sprouted daisy swaying back and forth by the gentle force of a warm sweet-smelling breeze. While you look up at the sky and take great enjoyment in discerning whether or not the white puffy cloud formations are those of a herd of elephants running through the fields of an African land, or of toads sitting on the lily pads of a beautiful crystal clear pond. It’s a truly beautifullly realised collage of sound!
Remembrance speaks an unspoken language of sheer eloquence. The graceful movement of the violin strings being pressed against and through your ears is magnificently accented with astounding pianistic integrity. The two lovely melodies merge and bind together to form a marriage of emotionally enthralling majesty. Then we have Morning Breeze as it throws any sense of not belonging to every part of the world to the air above. Its romantically inducing feel is such that you are drawn into deep thoughts of life, the kind of thoughts that reminisce of all of the wonderful experiences in life that make it worth living.
Embracing Moment could very well be the track that could describe the moment in a film where you can see two people together in everything enjoying a moment of complete and utter blissful splendor. Two people who have not a care in the world for anyone outside themselves for that stretch of time. A beautiful track is a beautiful track… and there’s no two ways about it!
Sweet Memories are something we all hold dear in our hearts. What a wonderful depiction of the niceness associated with feeling something joyous. It is without a doubt a perfect example of what immense talent was involved in every aspect of this album from every contributing factor and person. The piece is followed by the last track on the album; The Song of Nature. This exquisite track sends a very powerful message of suggestion to those who are not concerned with the issues in which they do not feel affects them when they do in fact affect us all. Global warming is an issue that needs urgent attention and for this track to be dedicated to this growing and very real concern is admirable to say the least. It marks the closure of a level of enjoyment that will forever be in my mind as a remarkable and unforgettable experience.
Elley Wilson – September 05 2005
Elley Wilson – September 05 2005 – International Online Magazine (Sep 5, 2005)
Eric Chiryoku belongs surely to the most excellent Instrumentalists of today whose great strength is to create cinematic sound pearls for listeners worldwide! His compositions are enjoyable for fans of New Age and also film music, carefully worked out arrangements of a lovely power, and characteristically for this masters’ work are the fluent character and emphasis on warm strings and lovely flute tunes.
“Morning Breeze” is song no. 7 from Eric’s album “Winter Story”. A feast for the listener with particularly beautiful keyoards and slow attack string atmospheres… and this actually could be a soundtrack for a Love movie! Perhaps you also can notice a very easy similarity to the heart-warming style of Kitaro?
In any case Eric Chiryoku lures you to dream with these friendly melodies like flowers to you. This is a beautiful and perfect produced musical breeze not only for the morning hour which will touch your heart! And this humble statement of mine also applies to Eric Chiryoku’s whole album “Winter Story”! Ready for a romance?
Pascal G. Niemeier – R Cat tearoom (Jul 19, 2005)
What a nice way to join the writing staff at R Cat!!!!
This composition blew me away! Within 5 seconds of listening to ‘Cherish’ I embarked on a wonderful journey, a journey that I really needed to complete. With every spoken piano key, and every whispered violin stroke, this lovely little composition carried me to a place within my heart from where I eventually drifted high into the clouds. For 4 minutes and 16 seconds there.. I had escaped reality.
The three notes I have tattooed on my left shoulder comes from a song by Mike Oldfield called Wonderful Land. I chose it because, to me, it represented my life, and I’m sure this beautiful piece will do the same for a lot of people young and old and whether they want the score tattooed or not. Thank you Eric!
Heather – R Cat music reviewer
this piece is so rich….the flute sounds so haunting and even a touch melancholy. The melody itself is pure beauty…stunning music, beautifully played composed and arranged. It’s so delicate, there’s emotions running all the way through it. This music deserves to be heard by the whole world, i see this as a movie piece definitely. I’m totally lost for words, it’s simply amazing. This is one of the best artists i’ve heard to date, recording in modern times.
Solipsism – MIXPOSURE Review Crew
Sydney Opera House for you mate!
Ok Thats it!!!I want you to come live in Australia so I can listen to you play in our beautiful Opera house!You have such sensitivity my friend,many of your pieces have brought a tear to my eyes,not sadness,awe.I hear nature in your music,it is such a joy to hear!I am so glad to have discovered your songs and this wonderful album.Many of my friends and musical connections have been introduced to this powerfull work in the last week or so and we all agree,sublime!
David Pendragon – Mixposure review crew
This is some of the BEST music I’ve heard on this site or anywhere. Beautiful Classical
orchestrations. I love this!!! I’ve always loved the Classical artists. And this is a new generation. These orchestrations are breathtaking!!! I want to buy this artist’s CD.
It’s wonderful. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Review by Dicarlo – Mixposure review
Having a classical background only lends me the ear to really, really appreciate this piece. A masterful piece of material indeed. I loved it from the very start. Such a warm and flowing tune. The flute and the strings are excellantly arranged and mixed so well. As well the whole track is well mixed. I dont have much else to say but. I am on my way to the next track to take a dive into your world of musical genius. Brilliant. Keep this kind of stuff coming for all of us music lovers, for this is a wonderful score.
Review by Dav Coolhandz – Mixposure review