The Shō is a reed instrument that has maintained a place at the very heart of traditional musics in Japan.
Introduced from China during the Nara Period (AD 710-794), its timbre is as haunting as its visual appearance. Held across the face, the shape of the instrument is said to resemble a phoenix. Sonically too, the instrument maintains a mythic quality. Its reeds resonate creating a beautiful and deeply affecting sound. This feature is undoubtably why the Shō was such a central feature of Gagaku (music of the Imperial Japanese Court).
This affective quality is also what drew Tokyo musician Yui Onodera to seek out the instrument. Onodera, known for his work creating lilting ambient sound fields, began learning the instrument in 2016 and gradually developed an approach to it that merged his interests in cavernous acoustic spaces, with the sonic potentials of the instrument.
Moire is the first resolution of these interrogations. It allows both the timbral sensibility of the instrument and his unique production approaches to co-exist in a loose orbit that extends the hazy dreamlike tones of the instrument, shaping new ambient states that echo outward from the past.
Listening to a Tim Hecker album is rarely ever a time to skip between songs or chose one track in the middle to start things off. Saying that, This Life is a perfect way to begin this audio experience. What I love most about this album though is how Tim seems to be evolving as a musician, patiently honing his skills, and fine tuning his craft. His works improve with each progressive album, while new experiments are woven into the tracks, he still manages to retain his signature sound. Jon Vassa
I have been a Taylor Dupree fan for years. Like everyone else, I experienced the music, went out and found other music, lived some years, only to circle back around and re-discover it again. This album is ambient brilliance. I listen to it often, and it never disappoints. Michael K. Gause