Some music is really hard to describe. Not because it’s indescribable, but because the vast amount of background info required to contextualize the work might be either a) too academic or b) too conceptual to get. Yoshi Ojima’s truly spartan website describes his music plainly as:
Yoshio Ojima uses computers to program
gentle, ambient music.
Now, where do I take it from there?
I could try to describe how the work you’ll hear today was created to soundtrack one of the greatest works of architecture from the Metabolist movement, the Wacoal Spiral. But then, I’d have to go into what exactly architectural Metabolism is. I’d wager, you’ve seen or walked past Marina City. I imagine, you’ve hit upon images of Kisho Kurokawa’s intriguing capsule rooms.
Contextually, I can try to summarize how these designers tried to make structures that could takes cues from molecular growth, and mirror that with designs that mimicked organically, expanded structural growth from a center beam. That’d then lead me to go into how these buildings themselves would have some inherent, organic blueprint that would allow such structures to actually evolve with their surrounding environment — based on necessity.
But then, I’d have to come back and have to explain who exactly Wacoal is and why exactly such a corporation needed both a) a Metabolist building for their headquarters and b) Yoshio Ojima to create music to be played in the middle of their operations. I’d wager, I’m not the most versed in Japanese lingerie and undergarments for females, but I’d like to believe that when Wacoal states on their website:
After the Second World War, Japanese women’s clothing made a great change from traditional kimono to the Western style. Koichi Tsukamoto, the late founder of Wacoal, recognized this change as a business opportunity, releasing bra pads as underwear that helped Japanese women to wear Western clothes beautifully and then introducing brassieres and girdles.
“Let’s approach potential senses of beauty.”
This spirit of Wacoal as a manufacturer has been inherited since its foundation.
I take it this meant that they’re trying to contribute moments, and experiences of enrichment. No matter whether it’s through a garment, fashion show, or a visit at to their unique headquarters, they have a company philosophy to enrich the human spirit.
Contextually, this means that inside the Wacoal Spiral exists a spiral staircase traversing the whole structure, allowing the visitors, at any level, to experience something potentially “of worth” to their lives. Either in the Spiral Hall, or in the Spiral Garden, visitors and workers would always have a clear view of rotating art display or sound installations — that’s what we can see. But then, in writing this, that’d lead me to bring all this back to Yoshio himself.
You see, it was his music that Wacoal commissioned and released, then promoted, by playing through the Spiral’s open spaces for a reason. Gentle, evolving, and textural, Une Collection Des Chainons I: Music For Spiral was his own attempt to make a new kind of “furniture music”. What did this mean? It meant you could go about your day at Wacoal and use tracks like “Flius” or “Float On” as interesting background filler to muse to, while you descended, or ascended, those great spiral structures. But what about when you had to have your moment of break? When you have to separate yourself from the work environment.
New city environments, much like the Spiral, had to provide some measure of organic serenity. That’s when Yoshio’s music was at its most powerful.
At the exterior level his music is simple. But hearing a track like “Mensis” reveals the beauty in its molecular architecture. Starting up slowly, it generates intensity through sounds that build and contract together. Crossing and weaving, warping and braiding, Yoshio’s musical work continues — so must you. Then, when you get to the part where his design reveals itself fully to you, that’s when you comprehend its intricacy. You’ll be surprised how some of the best work of art is just woven from simple, well-sourced fabric. But you know this: it’s not always the highest thread count that generates the softest feel.