VIDEO PREMIERE: Beside You by Hoshiko Yamane

Hoshiko Yamane is a Japanese composer who has been based in Berlin since 2006, a city she was attracted to through her love of Bach and Brahms. Perhaps most famously, she has toured regularly as a violinist with Tangerine Dream and worked with singer/actress Jane Birkin, but she has been involved in many other contemporary classical and experimental collaborations including an electronic music project called Tukico. Her forthcoming solo album Reflections finds Hoshiko using her instrument as a vehicle to reflect on the need for hope and inner peace in reaction to experiencing “the quiet, apocalyptic reality” of the world during the pandemic.

During the time I spent rethinking who was important to me, I wanted to say to all the family and friends I remembered, “You are not alone”. It was an emotion born of a very lonely time in the lockdown.

Hoshiko Yamane

While her work typically incorporates multiple layers of instrumentation and elements of sound design, it is said that Hoshiko’s music typically starts out as an improvised violin sketch and therein lies the sophisticated simplicity of the new record. Reflections is built upon a collection of such sketches committed to sheet music with the goal of being performed in an ensemble setting when circumstances would allow. With a string quartet composed of herself along with Cecillia Ferron (violin), So Fukushima (viola), and Sebastian Selke (cello), Hoshiko realizes this goal in a fervent release of the emotional pressures that built up during pandemic isolation.

Ahead of its release early next year, you can enjoy a preview of the Reflections in the form of this beautifully shot video featuring an intimate performance of the album’s third single, “Beside You”.

Links: 1631 Recordings (LP) | Whitelabrecs (CD) | Bandcamp (digital) | Hoshiko Yamane

Reflections will be available in March of 2023 as a split release between 1631 Recordings (LP & digital editions) and Whitelabrecs (CD edition). The album was mastered by Wil Bolton and features cover photography by Kei Sugimoto.