Time: Jan 2013
Media: Digital Download
Info: I composed this album "nostalghia" after being
inspired by several transparency films my grandmother
had left me. The films were taken in 1967 during her
travels in Britain, France, Italy, Denmark, Germany, the
Soviet Union, USA and so on. She had rarely told me
about her travels, (I am not sure why), except for a few
funny stories. Nostalghia is the process of my efforts
through composition in approaching a memory
embraced in those film.
Artist site: http://www.marihikohara.com/
PDF Press Release: Download
Instrumental ambient album composed between 2007 and 2009 by a Japanese musician from Kyoto, Marihiko
Hara, "Nostalghia"finds the inspiration inside a collection of transparency films he got from his grandmother and
which were taken in 1967, during a world trip in Europe, USA and Soviet Union.
So the full album is about long gone memories with their dissolved colors and ghostlike emotions, a not so
distant past but already gone forever, available through traces left by someone dear.
It's also a question of empathy through nostalgia, frosted emotions, thin like paper, sine waves crossing your
mind. All of this contributes to an album easy to like and enjoy if you can get the propitious attention and state of
mind. All about transparency, it pictures the moves of the artist's heart as he goes through this collection of
pictures, looking backwards as a way to find clues about what will happen forward.
Honestly, a few months ago I had explored the previous discography of Marihiko Hara without being particularly
moved and my opinion was that it was a little flat and often lacking of focus. The situation is totally different on
"Nostalghia", the focus is excessively precise, and inside this definite setup, each minimal change and variation
gets a lot of importance.
And I can feel this strange Japanese sensitivity similar to the one I experienced on records by artists like Daisuke
Miyatani or Takuma Itoi. Listening to "Nostalghia" is like walking alone under big trees, in the middle of summer,
inside an old forest, through which some light can still reach the ground. The silence of nature, the peacefulness,
the perfumes, and thinking these trees are there since a century almost and they will still last long after the end
of your own life. This music is about ephemerality too and pretend to nothing else. It is probably its biggest quality
in a musical world where superficiality and pretension are too often rules. Marihiko Hara is not a frog that wished
to be as big as the ox, but is just dealing with a sincerity and humility connected to his own blood, and you just
can feel respectful.
Influenced by old films shot during numerous trips abroad by a frequently travelling grandmother, and by the
strange absence of reports and stories about those journeys, Kyoto’s Marihiko Hara has fathered a collection of
quiet electronic pieces halfway through introspective electronica and microsound that make the most of what he
calls “reflecting on a strength in the silence and the relation between sound and us”. It’s a lovely album throughout,
abounding in melancholically suggestive hues defined by fragments of melody that do not include even the
smallest percentage of saccharine. The instruments are not specified, yet laptop-generated synthesis and piano
appear to be the whole project’s groundwork, supposedly with a measure of field recordings. The way in which
these aural snapshots are presented reveals the composer’s inclination for throwing faint lights upon a single sonic
subject, which he does via delicate minimalism occasionally interspersed with minor interferences. The motionless
pulse of a track like “Nostalghia: Vein” and the oneiric quality of the subsequent “Lacus” are quite representative
of a style that may vaguely recall certain releases from Taylor Deupree’s 12k label – and also, to a slight degree,
Keith Berry’s more cinematic shades – but is so informed by elusive humanity and private traits that no comparison
is actually valid. A broodingly profound record, totally compatible with the kind of isolation that keeps the germs of
a man’s evolution in custody.
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