“Images of the movement of clouds, the shade of a tree in summer time, the sound of rain, the snow in a town, with those rather quiet sound images, I sought to add the tone of ink painting to the pieces.”
Hiroshi Yoshimura on Music for Nine Postcards
A cult figure within Japanese ambient music, Hiroshi Yoshimura originally worked as a conceptual artist, with his musical explorations designed to exist within physical spaces; an extension of the surroundings and not as a means to escape them.
Music for nine Postcards, his debut release was no different. Produced using only a keyboard and a Fender Rhodes, and upon completion given to Tokyo’s Hara museum of Contemporary Art to be played within the space, the decision to release it was only made after the museum was inundated with requests as to where it could be purchased.
It was released in 1982 as the inaugural piece of like-minded producer Satoshi Ashikawa‘s Wave Notation Series; an ‘environmental music’ series described by Ashikawa as ‘Not music which excites or leads the listener into another world, it should drift like smoke and become part of the environment surrounding the listener’s activity. In other words, it is music which creates an intimate relationship with people in everyday life’
Despite his unquestionable talent, and the global relevance of his work, Yoshimura remains relatively unknown outside his home country. This reissue on Maxwell August Croy and Spencer Doran’s Empire of Signs imprint, in collaboration with Yoshimura’s widow Yoko, is the first outside Japan, and serves as a perfect introduction to his work, which continues to be as carefully moving and evocative as it was in 1982.