Through A Musical Lens: Flowers Bloom, Butterflies Come

Continuing its ongoing series of dialogs between musical and visual artists, the first IIKKI Books edition of the new year is a delightful spring offering that pairs the painterly photographic images of Miho Kajioka with the filigreed sounds of Observatories, a collaborative duo made up of Ian Hawgood & Craig Tattersall. The bringing of these artists together proves to be a curatorial masterstroke as Kajioka’s poetic vision inspired by nature and the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi is exquisitely complemented by a suite of finespun, tape-saturated vignettes from two masters of organic minimalism.

Hawgood, who currently lives on England’s south coast after years abroad in Japan, Italy, & Poland, is of course no stranger to these pages, appearing often as both an artist and mastering engineer on a plethora of album while Tattersall is well known & admired for his solo work as The Humble Bee and his collaborations with Bill Seaman in The Seaman And The Tattered Sail. It should be no surprise to anyone familiar with their work that it is a tender ministration, a cultivation of disparate sound sources delicately woven into a blissful, gauzy haze.

Links: Bandcamp | IIKKI Books | Ian Hawgood | Craig Tattersall | Miho Kajioka

Together the images and sounds form an indelible imprint of beauty juxtaposed with decay. This is a theme that infuses the art Kajioka was prompted to take up after working for years as a journalist and taking note of roses blooming beside a damaged building while covering the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011. It was this “mixture of grace and ruin” inspired her to “celebrates beauty in daily life” through her photography. Flowers Bloom, Butterflies Come it is a gentle and muted celebration to be sure, but one that proves all the more beautiful and inviting for just that reason.

Kajioka regards herself more as a painter/drawer than as a photographer. She feels that photographic techniques help her to create works that fully express her artistic vision. Her images evoke a sense of mystery in her constant search for beauty.


The 96-page hardcover book edition of Flowers Bloom, Butterflies Come is limited to 750 copies. The album which was mastered by Ian Hawgood comes in either a CD edition limited to 200 copies or a 12-inch vinyl LP limited to 300 copies as well as digital download. All physical editions are hand stamped & hand-numbered. Unfortunately, at this writing all of these editions are sold out for now.