Seigo Aoyama

Seigo Aoyama is a musician/composer/sound designer residing in Tokyo. He had been playing the piano since his childhood and started his career in music from 20 years old playing piano & keyboards in pop, rock and jazz groups. During his career, he studied classical/modern music with a focus on 20th century composers (Debussy, Stravinsky, Messiaen, Schaeffer, Cage, and Reich for instance). In 2014 he started incorporating field recording into his contemporary, ambient or experimental music. He has released 3 albums and composed music for the other performers.

On The Drift

Seigo Aoyama's new album "On The Drift" is based on the original scenery that he has been holding in his heart since childhood. It's like his diary, in which various scenes colored by memories and experiences are drawn through music. His idea in this album is, "Until the day when I live by rooting on the ground, I will flow and drift through the landscape like a cloud floating in the sky."

The scent of flowers drifting out of nowhere on spring nights. At dawn of summer, when everything is asleep, the starlight disappears from the sky one by one. A faint whisper of fallen leaves that suddenly trampled on an autumn afternoon. The warmth of the sun through the glass on a winter morning. Each landscape and feel becomes music and is scattered throughout this album.

・Written and produced by Seigo Aoyama
・Album cover by

Cat: AB105

Release date: Feb 2021



  1. Musique Machine

    For his sophomore effort, Tokyo based sound designer/composer, Seigo Aoyama, drifts forth with a wonderfully diverse and dense ambient release, On the Drift. Coming from Audiobulb again, this release is long and certainly worth the time. Spread over eleven tracks, Aoyama's latest is a gorgeous soundscape that mixes the natural and artificial worlds and perfectly captures the dichotomy of our modern world.

    The Earth is a wild place. From a farmhouse breaking the flow of a grassy plain to a dandelion growing out of the sidewalk crack in front of a skyscraper, the natural and man-made worlds collide in myriad ways. On the Drift manages to capture this forced symbiosis through its soft, synth drones and pianos working in conjunction with crispy, almost glitchy layers of electronics. Staring out the floor to ceiling glass of a modern kitchen, witnessing the diurnal signal of a sunrise, one is part of both worlds. Life is often seen as black and white, but it never is, and Aoyama's pieces here fill this space perfectly. Loaded with emotional cues, On the Drift puts sonically compiles the visual information of the human experience from waking with the sun, to the work day, to an evening decompressing. These are not put together in a story, but left spread for the listener to associate at his/her desire. Constructed with a definite familiarity, but shifted enough to be different, original, and very new, Aoyama's compositions not only mix natural and artificial, but also mix Eastern and Western aesthetics. Bridging many worlds at once, On the Drift manages to be everywhere at once, but yet feeling incredibly still. From a fixed viewpoint, the songs put the listener rooted into a spot and allow the landscape to shift around him/her. It's a truly wonderous effect and allows for a more laid back, easier listening experience.

    Seigo Aoyama's On the Drift captures a fantastic planet with all of its complexities, and breaks it down into easy to digest, gorgeous, ambient pieces. Coming at it from various angles, Aoyama's take on things is delightfully askew, and its tangential moments create the perfect balance between traditional and experimental.. Long but worth repeated listens, On the Drift is a wonderful piece of modern soundscape art.

  2. Now Then Magazine

    Of the album, Aoyama says he wanted to “flow and drift through the landscape like a cloud floating in the sky”. That cloud feels dependably British, as he flits between different moods and perspectives from track to track. He fleshes out a musical world understood in broad terms, a realm where the submerged reticence of ‘Sea Fret’ leads into the Reich-inspired xylophones of ‘Blur’.

    While far-reaching in its scope, sweeping pianos, pulsating pads and recorded voice organise the album into something more cohesive. Its strongest tracks are those which treat these elements with space. ‘Head Over Heels’, in this way, contains all three motifs to great effect. Its uncluttered arrangement means the track rests in its droney, melodic emptiness. In this free space, it takes a step back, pauses and relishes in the vagueness of the scene it expresses.

    While the album admires the natural world, its non-specific, personal field recordings do not transport the listener to places like ‘Constanța Beach’. Instead they work to let us share in the beauty Aoyama finds in the minutiae of nature. The pattering footsteps of the album’s close, ‘Incline’, achieve just that. The climbing track sounds like a dizzying, elongated appreciation of something as simple and inconsequential as the gradient of a hill.

  3. Igloo Magazine

    Noted as various scenes colored by memories and experiences drawn through music, Tokyo-based Seigo Aoyama is a multi-talented artist utilizing field recordings, delicate piano keys, and ambient/microsound motifs—providing otherworldly sonic escapes. Treated voice elements and distant, natural soundscapes drift with an air of surreal musical calm. The subtle shifting and effervescent scenery becomes a dreamlike state of flux as eleven beatless structures somehow cascade into oblivion. Darker strands mix with lightened pitter-patter tones that simply fade away. These unusually magnetic sonic traverses detail organic, nostalgic, and atmospheric forays that should be absorbed as a whole to even begin to capture its aural glow. Having studied 20th century composers such as Debussy, Stravinsky, Messiaen, Schaeffer, Cage, and Reich, On The Drift leaves a lasting impression on the senses.

  4. Snack

    Tokyo-based composer and sound designer Seigo Aoyama has been building imaginary worlds for years. He is a master of creating abstract, all-encompassing landscapes and soundscapes that stretch out in front of you as far as you are willing to believe they can go.

    Aoyama’s new album, On The Drift, is his latest foray into world-building. He takes us to beaches where the salty ocean laps the sand gently and invites you to sit. Then, all of a sudden, you’re standing on a mountain peak with cold air whipping by as you gaze upon the Earth below. The music contained within is sonic experimentation; the external world is softly woven into the album’s chronicles.

    Since Aoyama was a child, he has held scenery close to his heart. The music presented here is a diary of natural influences on his creative process. In 2014 Aoyama began incorporating field recordings into his work, beginning with the ambient sounds of crowds, factory work and railroad noise; now he leads us out of man-made contexts and back into nature. We do not travel with him purposefully, rather, we drift along behind waiting to experience the next corner of the planet Aoyama allows us to explore.

    The album can be listened to all together in a rolling wave of sound, yet any moment can be extracted, repeated, and engaged with, not only as an individual song but as a meditative practice. The songs are gentle, poignant reminders of the expansive offering of quiet peace. Perhaps Aoyama explains it best when he says ‘Until the day when I live by rooting on the ground, I will flow and drift through the landscape like a cloud floating in the sky.’ This is, after all, Ayoama’s imagination.

  5. EtherREAL

    Seeing the arrival of a Japanese musician who announces that he wants to offer an album documenting his seasonal memories since his childhood (reminiscences of twirling flowers in spring, of fading summer light, of dead leaves in autumn, of the sun heating through the window in winter) is not necessarily a guarantee of great novelty. Indeed, the path is already well marked and such an impressionist atmosphere already proposed by several other composers. However, trusting Audiobulb, we enter On The Drift to discover Seigo Aoyama, to see, straight away, that the promise has been kept: the conjunction of trembling layers and small melodic layers in the foreground makes its mark. effect and sounds, to be sure, as melancholy and touching enough to echo reminders of the past.

    Whether electronic or organic (the dreamy pianos of Loomed and Airglow), these melodic contributions do not yield to the ease of the ritornello, preferring a more pastel, more diffuse form of intervention. The sampled voices, appearing to speak as though through a telephone, produce the same sensation, as if they were a resurfacing of distant conversations or old exterior recordings since they occur in a non-language. kindergarten for Japanese (Meadowlark, Rockford, Head Over Heels).

    Musically, Seigo Aoyama therefore opts for a caressing, arrhythmic atmosphere punctuated by small padded chromatic touches (Sea Fret). From time to time (Blur), a synth adds arpeggios on the border of the psyche, but remains sufficiently enveloped in a beautiful cottony atmosphere not to denote compared to the rest of a long-format only available in digital version. Even when the background turns a little more metallic (Airglow's mini machine sounds), the Japanese stick to his line of conduct and manages to achieve some very touching marriages.