Midori Hirano “Soniscope”

Midori Hirano’s music creates vast sonic expanses from small emotions. Her work distills entire narratives through careful sound design and gentle nudges into bite-size ambiance. With Soniscope, Hirano weaves twisting paths out of thin air, turning beautiful atmospheres laden with piano, harp, electronics, and other devices into piles of silver dust. From the opening notes of “Missing Night” to the last breath of “White Sand,” Soniscope is magical. … Continue reading Midori Hirano “Soniscope”

The Wonderful Clusters of Atsuko Hatano

In the past year, Atsuko Hatano’s string-based music has become a fixture in my listening habits. Her work ranges from longform, more experimental sonic journeys to the intricate, beguiling worlds of her Cells series. Any time I listen to something she’s created, there is always something new and unique to discover and get lost within. She has her signature style based upon her interest in … Continue reading The Wonderful Clusters of Atsuko Hatano

Atsuko Hatano “Insulated Paradise”

Japanese composer Atsuko Hatano’s longform pieces from the past year have been a revelation. With her latest, Insulated Parade, she reaches new levels. Throughout the 37-minute release, Hatano evokes dreams of better times in imagined worlds. The way it unfolds, elegantly changing direction and shape as her aural universe grows before circling back to the beginning, replete with a fresh perspective, is emotionally captivating. Insulated Parade begins … Continue reading Atsuko Hatano “Insulated Paradise”

Atsuko Hatano “Cells#5”

Atsuko Hatano’s work has been a regular companion throughout the past year. The Japanese composer and violist Often released as albums of two long pieces that are often exploratory, digging into experimental drones and textures. Hatano continually amazes me with the depth of her work and the clarity of her expression. On Cells#5, though, she levels up. Her most accomplished and most impactful work to date, … Continue reading Atsuko Hatano “Cells#5”

Atsuko Hatano “Fossilized Dreams”

I honestly don’t remember how I stumbled onto Atsuko Hatano’s beautiful, melancholic compositions last summer, but I’ve been hooked since. Her latest album, Fossilized Dreams, follows in familiar footsteps with timeless drones built around violin and effects, slowly rising and falling like a body taking its final breaths. Both “Bear’s Den” and the first half of “Brass Shoes” act as a compass pointing north, knowing … Continue reading Atsuko Hatano “Fossilized Dreams”