Ambient, New Age,
USD $9.00 – USD $25.00
out of stock.
Ambient, New Age,
LP: Transparent green vinyl, 12″ sleeve, 2pp insert, offset printed, full colour on premium matt paper
CD: Glass-mastered CD housed in a die-cut thick board mounted on a 4-panel case, outer slipcase, offset printed, full colour on premium matt paper
30 Aug 2019
kotonoha is ironomi’s 8th album and first ever release on vinyl. A tonal portrait of microscopic nuances particular of a Japanese midsummer saunter through deep emerald green forests and tranquil fields, transcribed into a meditative pastoral reverie created with crystalline piano playing, lute acoustics and real-time processing.
The title kotonoha (琹の葉) comes from a poetic anachronistic metaphor, combining form of leaves (葉 ha) and plucked string instruments (琹 koto) depicted in classical antiquity. With a distinctive sound that matches the sonic architecture of Japanese aesthetics, ironomi adds kotonoha into their extensive catalog already defined by its uniquely committed minimalism and serenity.
kotonoha was originally built on a sequence of four continuous scenes
that makes up one long-form composition. The titles of these improvisational pieces (shioribi, namisora, ayumikaze, hagoromo) invoke a literal kind of sensuous, fleeting phenomena. The beauty and charm of these tracks lie in their impressionist fusion with Japanese nature and sensibilities. ironomi created their very own brand of “environmental music”, the literal translation of the Japanese term kankyo ongaku (環境音楽) – music designed to harmonise with, rather than dominate, its natural surroundings. In the specific spatial context of kotonoha, the record heals the aural sense away from our jangling cities and restless daily environments.
The album includes two additional compositions tsukishirube and maigo, the latter being regularly featured as the concluding passage that brings ironomi’s live performances to an end. The expanded cadence remained a firm fan-favourite since 2010 and now documented in recording for the first time.
ironomi releases kotonoha on 30 August 2019 via KITCHEN. LABEL worldwide. Available on limited edition translucent green vinyl LP, CD and digital formats, with artwork by Tokyo-based photographer Yoichi Onoda and design by KITCHEN. LABEL founder Ricks Ang. This record is mastered by Gen Tanabe at Studio Camel House in Yamanashi, Japan.
“We don’t always consider elements of electronics as necessary. But when the potential of the piano has been stretched to a maximum, we will use them as a tool to draw out hidden expressions in the piano.
We nestle into this state of thinking nothing at all, in which we become one with the environment. As if wanting to fall asleep, we fall into a dream-like state and our imagination swells freely.
We will sample piano phrases on the spot and re-play them through a speaker a couple of seconds later. Accordingly, we will then use and repeat the result as a basis for the next phrase. This form of spontaneous and improvised sampling implies that the exact same sound can not be repeated again. Thus, the piece takes on a form of its own. “ – ironomi on their creative process
Junya Yanagidaira – Piano
Yu Isobe – Lute, Computer Programming
All compositions by ironomi
Mastered by Gen Tanabe at Studio Camel House, Japan
Design by Ricks Ang
Photography by Yoichi Onoda
“Gorgeous – Top 10 albums of 2019, Honourable Mention”
— KEXP (USA)
“It’s got a magical quality that relaxes and transports exactly where I need to be whenever I put it on. Beautiful, meditative nature ambient.”
— Emily A. Sprague via Pitchfork
“If we cannot travel to the green by plane or car, we can visit the forest in our minds. kotonoha helps us to reach beyond what we see to what we know, but all too often forget.”
— A Closer Listen (USA)
“kotonoha is emblematic of the duo’s particular brand of ambient music, the very embodiment of the Japanese term ‘kankyo ongaku’.”
— Textura (Canada)