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Drifting Vignettes: Michio Ogawa’s “April Collector”

Blame the need for instant gratification that comes with easy access to MP3s, blame a culture of “what can you give me now” or blame Twitter. But when I first listened to Michio Ogawa’s “April Collector” I kept wondering “when is this song going to open up?” Where is the singing, the chorus, the big sing-a-long coda? None of these things ever emerge on “April Collector” – unless you count child-like ahhhhh-ahhhh-ing as vocals – and Ogawa’s piece triumphs all the more from it. Divided into three distinct-but-related segments, “April Collector” is mostly some enjoyable noodling eventually bolstered by twinkly bell rings and Ogawa’s formless singing. It’s decision to drift along lazily lends an air of innocence to the whole song, making “April Collector” the aural equivalent of a really comfy blanket for a picnic. No big “aha!” moments emerge, but such elements would only serve to fracture Ogawa’s breezy creation. Sometimes, you gotta forget about the flashy things and just float along.