Premiere: Roll by Kumi Takahara

As a professionally trained violinist, Kumi Takahara has been performing in concerts and lending her talents to other artists & musicians for a while now. Come February, she will be releasing a debut album of her own on Tokyo’s Flau imprint and what a beguiling one it is. See-Through is a collection of songs and sound poems rooted in classical influences but with a distinctly contemporary spin and a penchant for playful experimentation.

Described as “part private diary, part daydream”, the start of the album goes all the way back to 2016, when Kumi began recording music in the quietest place she could find – the bathroom of her Tokyo apartment. Using bath towels as sound-absorbing equipment, setting up a microphone above the sink and balancing her laptop on the washing machine, she began work on what would eventually serve as demos for a complete record.

In its final form, See-Through is a heady blend of sweetly melodic compositions with collagic interior soundscapes crafted from abstract textures and concrete sound. A collaborative element adds even greater breadth and depth to the album with appearances by aus (Yasuhiko Fukuzo), Tape Loop Orchestra (Andrew Hargreaves), and The Humble Bee (Craig Tattersall).

Featured in this premiere is “Roll”, a delicately layered melody that builds with gentle repetition and painterly strokes of all the instruments Kumi plays on the album – violin, viola, cello, contrabass, piano and voice. Also included here is an expansive and emotive reinterpretation of the piece by Tel Aviv based musician, producer & film composer Zoe Polanski.

Links: Download/Stream | Bandcamp (CD/DL) | Flau (label)

See-Through will be released February 24, 2021 by Flau on CD and digital (see links above).