Haiku is the nom de guerre of Danish artist and composer Henrik Hytteballe who chose the name because he was attracted to the simplicity of Japanese haiku poetry. Flow was originally released in 2009 in Denmark, but as is so often the case, a release never hits the radar due to limited promotion and lack of global distribution. Thanks to Real Music and this re-release on their label, fans of new age/ambient music around the world can be introduced to the enjoyable music of The Haiku Project.
Flow is a seven song, 67 minute journey into relaxation that is part new age style compositions and part ambient atmospheres that blend well together giving the listener the best of both worlds in one long form album. Henrik’s musical sensibilities are on display from the very beginning of track one, which is entitled “Atlantis,” as the layers and textures begin to gently enfold the listener and pull them into this peaceful world that he has created. The synthesizer creates waves of sound, much like waves on a beach, as they ebb and flow in a very hypnotic and soothing way. There is a very quiet piano that offers a point of interest to the calm washes of the synth sounds and Henrik has done a great job of allowing these distinct elements to move together, dancing with each other, but neither over powering the other.
“Crystal Bath,” on the other hand, is more of an introspective track with a somber feel. This song definitely falls into the ambient end of the spectrum on this album, and even though it starts out as a somber piece, by the time you reach the last two minutes the music begins to morph into a delicate, airy, almost ethereal tone. These types of points and counter points highlight Henrik’s ability to skillfully move between emotions even within one composition.
The album ends with “To Jorn,” which features the sounds of birds mixed in the background and a return to the more new age portion of the musical spectrum. This composition is basically a piano track that allows the listener to end their 67 minute sojourn with Henrik in a peaceful, reassuring place.
It is easy to see why Real Music chose this album to expand to a wider audience through the re-release process. Overall the music is quite moving and weaves several themes into its fabric allowing Henrik to create a current within the structure of all of the songs that floats the listener down a calm and tranquil stream of consciousness. It is evident that Haiku, aka Henrik Hytteballe, is a talented composer who now, having been introduced to the world through Real Music’s re-release of Flow, will find that he has many new fans out there waiting for his next release. Recommended by Ambient Visions.