Akeo Minamikawa – Primary key

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    Alan Brinton

    I’m not sure where else to put this post on Akeo’s album, “Primary key.” Akeo’s mastery of the two-handed vertical style of playing the melodica is well known here. Her album, though, takes us well beyond what we have before now seen and heard in her You Tube videos. It reveals her ingenuity as a composer, a fuller range of emotion that goes beyond the joyful exuberance that makes her playing so endearing, even greater versatility on the instrument than we might have expected, and the philosophical aspect of her music making. “Primary key” is an important album. I don’t know of anything else quite like it.

    Unfortunately, the album is currently only available on order from Japan. My immediate reaction, after a first listen, was to hope to see it available for streaming from, say, iTunes or Spotify. But it soon became clear that, for this listening audience, the liner notes (some printed on the jacket, others on a separate insert) are essential. They provide insight into the nature of the compositions and identify the melodicas (quite a few different models) used on the tracks. And then there’s the covert art, which is worth the price of admission. Poster material — where can I order one?

    Alan Brinton

    “Where can I order one?” is, more importantly, the question about the album. Akeo (our pianonymous) has posted earlier about this. In response to my request for further clarification, here is her slightly edited reply:

    1.) Please Send an E-mail to melodicalabo@gmail.com with your Name/Country/Address/Phone number.

    2.) I will reply with an estimate of the EMS shipping fee.
     EMS fee= ex. Asia:+1,400yen / America+2,000yen / Europe+2,200 etc…

    3.) Open the following URL: “Amazon E-mail Giftcard Pages”

    4.) Purchase an amazon E-mail gift card. (Please note wrong description)
    Amount column: Product price 1620 yen + EMS shipping fee charged in 2.) above
    Recipient field: melodicalabo@gmail.com (Please be careful about misspelling)
    Giver column: Your full name
    Message field: Your email address
    Quantity column: 1
    Send date field: Send immediately
    → Select “Add to Cart”
    → Please proceed as usual to purchase items on Amazon.

    5.) If I can confirm the Amazon E-mail gift card, I will ship by EMS.
    I will not attach gift cards to accounts until you receive the CD.

    6.) If you receive the CD successfully please mail me at melodicalabo@gmail.com.
    With that, we will associate the gift card with the account and complete the receipt.

    The gift card must be purchased at Amazon Japan. As far as I know, it cannot be done through Amazon U.S.A., Europe, or elsewhere. I have an Amazon Japan account, which is easy to sign up for, but I was confused when I went there about whether it could be done directly, since my purchases there have had to be arranged with Tenso. I have suggested arranging payment through Pay Pal, for which most of us have accounts. Since there are no fees for sending cash gifts through Pay Pal, that would be the way to do it. Akeo generously sent me her CD as a gift — best gift I’ve received in quite some time! The cost of the CD is about $15 U.S., and the cost of delivery to me here in the U.S. was about $18. This album is well worth it.

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