Japanese ambient maestro Chihei Hatakeyama shares ‘Mirage’

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The relation of sound and architecture has been a recurring theme across the centuries. The earliest examples of sound design stem from the interaction of human voice and various architectural spaces used for worship and ritual. It is these sonic reflections on ritual that are at the root of the latest edition from Japanese ambient maestro Chihei Hatakeyama.

Hatakoeyama produces polychromatic, memory-evoking soundscapes with various recorded materials sourced from acoustic instruments such as guitars, vibraphone, and piano. His work is a meeting of the gestural language he has developed for his instruments and expansive processing via a variety of acoustic and digital sources.

Recorded over the period of five years, Mirage is a meditation on the phenomenology of music and architecture. During a field trip to Turkey, Hatakeyama became acutely aware of how architecture shapes sound and in doing so affects the very nature of music’s resonance. This condition extends beyond the personal into the collective, creating a certain condition of aurality that operates at a societal level.

Walking through the labyrinthian bazaars of Turkey, Hatakeyama took inspiration from the way sounds emerged and decayed within those spaces. Looking to replicate these experiences in the creation of the album, he developed a series of new processes and transformations that expanded his approach to textural music. Weaving in location recordings from these spaces, the record began to take on a hazy abstruse quality; the unfamiliar familiar.

As the name suggests, Mirage is about the apparent phenomena that exists only in our perception. Like a strong memory, which can feel so very present yet remain intangible, Hatakeyama’s music on Miragemaintains a lucid but utterly transcendent quality.