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Galaxies. KOJI ASANO
(Solstice)

Koji Asano is a very prolific composer with a large collection of material released under his own label Solstice; he has published material of different kinds including compositions for acoustic instruments and music for laptop performances. This release marks his first CD release since 2006 and his 44th work published in the album format.

On Galaxies Koji Asano composed an environmental work using what seems like mostly untreated field recordings based on insects and water sounds; the release’s sonority is dry  and makes emphasis on the high frequencies which gives to Galaxies some sort of sheer, subtle and textural character.

Recently I had a conversation with a visual artist toward the role of the artists and it lead to the premisse that the artist’s role is to work as a proper medium between his individual experience and the spectator /listener’s. This conversation comes to my mind because although there are plenty of works using recordings from insects and water, Galaxies has a very unique character and a very particular beauty.

What we listen on Galaxies, is Koji Asano’s own personal experience: the enhanced textures and the almost absent low frequencies probably have to do with what the insects and water sounded to him and probably have to do with what listening to the insects and water meant to him.

For an artist like Koji Asano, who is used to work with sound and music through a multitude on methods and instrumentations, the natural landscape seems to have this subtle power, this enormous capacity to invade silence. This unnoticeable sounds, this sheer noise, when noticed, build a new experience where the landscape become invisible and where the music subjacent in the incidental, becomes the center of our sensible experience.

Galaxies is a work that successfully deals with the subtle invasive character of sound, with the possibilities of the surroundings in Koji Asano’s experience to incidentally compose beautiful music that when it’s brought to us and we are immersed on, we could be strongly moved by.

It’s challenging for the artist to use field recordings when probably what he is recording has been, more or less, recorded many other times. The success of a sound artist using untreated field recordings is related to his capacity to recognize his experience as unique, to his capacity to transform his experience without loss or distortion into a relevant, new and connective experience with his listeners; on Galaxies Koji Ando was highly successful being a proper medium between him and us, between the galaxy and its beholder.

– Alan Smithee

Koji Asano website
Solstice discography