Born in Germany, Bernward Koch has been around for a while. Classically trained, his piano work is melodious but never overstated. With plenty of room to breathe, there is a fine merger of classical and ambient influences that makes Walking Through Clouds a laid back album that will appeal to many who are seeking the escape from the clutter of life.
This is Koch’s third effort with Real Music and much like its predecessors it avoids the obvious pitfalls of the commercial aspects of this genre. Restrained and calm, Bernward’s piano plays the lead throughout the album, though he is significantly complimented by the flighty flute work of Christiane Boehm. No better place than the regal and graceful opening track “Touched By Love” or “The Silver Veil” revealed later in the album.
However, Koch does not hesitate to play it solo as found on the slower paced lullaby “Childhood Hour” or even the more optimistic “Flight Being”. The latter includes some nice light unobtrusive string embellishments. Speaking of embellishments, Christoph Koch adds sprinkles of percussion and a glimmer of acoustic guitar on “Following Stars” and “Simply Great”. Okay, the very light drum machine on the latter sounds very mechanical but it still remains entrenched within the boundaries of the album; to lift you up and allow you to rest your head on a soft pillow of white fluffy clouds.
There are no standout tracks, which at times sound repetitive, which is the oxymoron of the album. It is both its weakness and strength keeping the album focused on its theme of being inconspicuous and pastoral. Koch may never be a breakout artist in this genre but that said his specialty appears to be encouragement without being overbearing. From that aspect the album is very successful.