I’m truly thankful I live in a world where circumstances led Londoner Morgan Fisher to visit Japan, fall in love with country, and proceed to sell nearly all of his life’s work to make his living there. Some would say it was a foolhardy move but it’s a move that proved essential to his reinvention as the rare Japanese New Age/minimalist artist that is decidedly not Japanese. Veetdharm (his Buddhist spiritual name you see on the cover) serving to underscore this important change in his life and that gorgeous album conveying a dramatic change in his life.
Overloaded and overworked by the stresses of playing keys in Queen, this one time Hoople saw in Japan a way to reconcile his lifelong impressionistic Satie inspiration with a whole new culture and aesthetic that promoted a different kind of minimalism and inner reflection. Drawn by naturalism heard in the music of Japan, Look At Life symbolized all this movement Japan itself imbued in his music and organism. Distancing himself from academic Western minimalist music, Morgan actually finds a way to touch on the gorgeous reflective Japanese experimental music being created by the likes of Hiroshi Yoshimura, Yas-Kaz, Inoyama Land and others, in a way that was distinct to him. Mixing deep digital synthesis with very organic, impressionist melodies, Morgan truly hit on something special.
Peaceful, and beautifully flowing, Look At Life is that fascinating halfway point between Eno’s playful ambient music, European minimalism, and Japanese New Age music. Wonderfully melodic, wistful, and quite joyful, Morgan’s Look At Life doesn’t seek to appropriate the aesthetic of Japan, so much as blend it into his own expansive vision of meditative music. When Morgan first left to Japan he didn’t know a lick of Japanese, but it was through his music that he held a wonderful conversation that soon others would be able to pick up on and continue. This is the lovely start of it all, though.