Every Hiroshi Yoshimura record is a bit of something very special. Versed in the mastery of combining environmental sound with personal music, every bit of Hiroshi’s recordings speaks of the special connection we as beings of this earth have with the feelings our surroundings can inspire. A lot of people hate technology, a lot of people feel there is little connection linking synthetic, or inorganic, with humanity. Surely, after listening to Hiroshi’s records, no idea could be further from the truth. His own recordings combining acoustic sounds, electronic synthesizers, and organic percussion are a testament to this belief.
We live in a world where music always aims for excess, missing the link between design, space, refinement, and intimacy. Hiroshi’s Music For Nine Post Cards was conceived as sound design that would work in cohesion with the space it would play in. His music spoke of a third way, where the contemporary world could form the background, and inspiration, for a new type of environmental music that acknowledge its soundstage presenting the full composition, of our design.
Rather than run in opposition in some or any direction, don’t we need music that could help us acknowledge, and absorb our new, impressive, modern ecology? If so, this extremely hard to find music, presents some of the best tone paintings for future times.
The first edition of this album was released in 1982 on LP. I composed “Music for Nine Post Cards” while catching the waves of scenery out of the window and feeling the sounds form. Images of the movement of clouds, the shade of a tree in summer time, the sound of rain, the snow in a town, with those rather quiet sound images, I sought to add the tone of ink painting to the pieces.
Differing from the minimal musical style in my former piece” Clouds for Alma- for two koto harps” (1978), in this music a short refrain is played over and over while it changes its form gradually just like clouds or waves, based on the sound fragments noted on the 9 postcards. I put the first fragment of the sound, a seed or a stone as it were, to seek the “prime number” of the sound.
One day when I was composing this piece, I visited the brand-new contemporary art museum in the North Shinagawa area I took to its snow-white Art-Deco style, but not only that, I was also deeply impressed and moved by the trees in the courtyard which can be seen through the museum’s large window. At that moment, I imagined how it would sound if were to play my developing album there. Could it possibly be one of the best sounds that fit this environment? This idea developed into the strong desire to carry it out.
Finishing the mixing, recording it on cassette tape, I visited this museum again. They gladly accepted such an unknown composer’s request and said “OK, let’s try to put it on in the museum.” That made me so happy and encouraged me. After a few weeks, 1 received a phone call from this museum, where staff were often asked by the visitors “Where can I get this music?” On hearing those words, my desire to publish a record with those sounds was getting stronger and stronger. I decided to consult with Mr. Ashikawa about this. He said that he would start up a record label to present this new sound. in this way, “Music for Nine Post Cards” was released as the first LP record of the “Music Notation for waves” series.
This was followed by Mr. Ashikawa’s “Still Way”. This label’s first attempt to present environmental music in Japan was taken up in many magazines. Although this album was a small publication by a minor label, I am very happy that not a few people still remember it. Now this album is being reprinted. I’m looking forward to the reaction of the people who are going to listen to this music for the first time. The Nine Post Cards which were sent from outside of a window. I hope this sound scenery makes quiet ripples.