Originally from Shizumi, Kashiba City in Japan’s Nara Prefecture, Ai Yamamoto is a composer & sound artist who has been making music in Melbourne, Australia since the early 00s including work with such artists as Lawrence English and Ben Frost. This month she makes her debut on Los Angeles based Dragon’s Eye Recordings with a welcoming sonic journey back to the quiet spaces, forests, and rice fields of her hometown entitled Going Home (帰郷). The album is essentially a long form track divided seamlessly into four parts that convey her musical interpretation of an experience that is both uniquely personal and universally relatable.
“Going Home (帰郷 ) brings you a pair of big wings to fly and takes you on a journey of Nostalgia where you feel warm and comfortable. Everyone looks back and thinks about their hometown where they grew up, and sentiment or emotions are all mixed––from bitter to sweet––but you still feel home with smiles. This is a music diary and a journey of ‘where you are from to where you are now.’” – Ai Yamamoto
Part one features gentle, elongated melodies and beautiful undulating frequencies that radiate serenity and comfort. A piano voice introduces the contemplative second part and its delicate ambient underpinnings while the third part takes a kaleidoscopic turn with cascading, overlapping guitar textures. For the final part, the music recedes into the background and the listener is placed fully in a scene surrounded by flowing water, chirping crickets, and the sounds of children playing. It is all so warmly inviting and immersive, it takes several times listening to begin to appreciate the variety of sound sources, textures, and techniques Yamamoto has woven so deftly together to fashion this lovely narrative.
Going Home (帰郷) is available as a digital release on the Dragon’s Eye Bandcamp page as well as digital/streaming.