“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. His musical explorations were designed to exist within physical spaces: an extension of the surroundings rather than a means to escape them.
Music for nine Postcards, his debut release, was no different. Produced using only a keyboard and a Fender Rhodes; upon completion, he gifted it 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 offering of the Wave Notation Series, an ‘environmental music’ project described by its curator, like-minded producer Satoshi 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 Yoko, Yoshimura’s widow, is the first outside Japan, and serves as a perfect introduction to his work, which remains as carefully moving and evocative today, as in 1982.