My apologies to David Lynch fans, but when I imagine what the music of Twin Peaks should be, I imagine something more along this profound piece of music from Toshifumi Hinata than the real life, final product. I say this, because Toshifumi Hinata’s Sarah’s Crime captures a fully idealized musical vision of an in-between feeling. It’s of that feeling when reality starts to graduate into the realms of the surreal and when dreams blend into the living.
One can only imagine that Toshifumi Hinata used memories of times spent studying music in Nowheresville, America — first in Ashland, Wisconsin and then at the University of Minnesota in Duluth — as focal points to convey some of that inexplicable miasma that extra-urban America is. When he returned back to Japan, it’s that undeniable American experience that seem to permeate in the nocturnal music he was crafting for his debut album.
Taking cues from the languid feeling of classic French impressionist music, Toshifumi sculpted Sarah’s Crime as an album full of modern piano-led nocturnes that could fold in orchestral instrumentation and synthetic key beds into a seamless mix of woozy arrangements. The goal was music for half-forgotten musical touch points, with an atmosphere that could best described as illusory.
If ever there was music made for those wee hours before sunrise, when gray bleeds into blue light, it’s in this album. Sharing as much in common with the sounds of Satie and Debussy, as the in-between music of Cluster, Don Cherry, and Mark Isham, it’s no wonder Toshifumi would later release countless timeless Japanese drama soundtracks that spoke of the quiet moments in modern life. He was merely creating visual music for films you could have sworn really existed. Of course, no film has yet captured what he created here. In the end, how can one be nostalgic for comforts found in a dream?