Hiroshi Yoshimura was commissioned in 1984 by Japanese multi-national personal care company Shiseido to create something that might be entirely out of his own wheelhouse: music that could complement a fragrance. It’s a pitch that would
sound ludicrous to most musicians but for Hiroshi presented a magnificent idea.
Pressed on white vinyl, slotted in to a transparent yellow plastic sleeve with only the logo A・I・R (the name of the forest-inspired scent) printed on it, and covered by a green bag that would both hold this music and contain the actual name of the album: Air In Resort), the whole package only gave away few signals to what could actually be found inside. This gift, given out with the perfume and liberally sprayed with the scent of it, provided one such hint. Others would be this, just a few words:
Amenity Record. A fresh and natural resort feeling with Shiseido.
Digging deeper, whoever took out the record and saw the center labels printed on each side of the album, would know what exactly Hiroshi was going for. On one side you’d see a forest side, the other a sea side. The album will always be supremely interesting for little reasons like these.
Mixing bird song and sea sound with environmental field recordings: that’s lovely. Mixing electronics with bell acoustics: that’s different. Presenting this whole mix in one serene, wonderfully smelling and designed package: that’s inspiring. It’s Hiroshi Yoshimura presenting his own fully fleshed out idea of music for all sorts of sensations conjured up beyond sight and sound. One listen to 小鳥たちのカフェ/”Kotoritachi No Kafe” (Bird Kites at the Cafe) shows how intimate that vision of music can be.