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Hinako Omori - a journey… Music Album Reviews

Hinako Omori - a journey… Music Album Reviews
Using field recordings and modular synths, the UK-based electronic musician channels the holistic energies of forest bathing.

Is it possible to perceive the natural world as part of our emotional being? For practitioners of Shinrin-yoku (Japanese for “forest bathing”; the term means to immerse oneself in the atmosphere of a forest), the two are inextricable; the self is indistinguishable from nature. a journey…, the debut album from ambient composer and sound designer Hinako Omori, is rooted in this philosophy. Across 10 tracks that seamlessly flow into one another, Omori invites her listener on a participatory journey in which memory and consciousness are configured through forests, oceans, and gardens. In the process, she harmoniously reconciles the self and the natural world.

Since childhood, Omori, who was born in Japan and raised in England, has been collecting soundbites from the natural world. Experimenting with noise—and the act of listening itself—from such a young age led her to study music technology at the University of Surrey before becoming a session musician for several British musicians, including Georgia and Kae Tempest.

Drawing upon several years’ worth of field recordings and synth experiments, Omori created a journey… at a recording retreat at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios during WOMAD at Home’s immersive audio series. While there, she took a binaural head—two microphones placed inside a human dummy head—to record the sounds of the surrounding Wiltshire countryside. Binaural techniques tend to result in a 3D simulation of sound, mimicking the aural interaction between our bodies and the environment that surrounds us, producing the illusion that we are inhabiting the same space as the song.

Omori takes an ecological approach to the production of sound on a journey…, which sounds like a cosmic forest in a galaxy of noise. Much of the music on the album was made almost by chance, stitched together from happy accidents made using Omori’s semi-modular synth patches or circular, randomly occurring sounds from her natural environment— flashes of nature that evoke shards of memory. It’s quite remarkable, then, the way that a journey… patches these many fragments together into a coherent, continuous whole.

The album is held together by synthesizer drones that are subtly detuned in order to reproduce so-called therapeutic frequencies; sound imagined as a form of healing. It’s a new-age approach to ambient composition that artists like Jenny Hval have used to interrogate cliché, but there’s no such meta-commentary on a journey…. Omori sincerely commits to the new-age form, but rather than scanning as corny, the transcendent textures appropriately reinforce the album’s grand, cosmic vision.

a journey… comes in and out of being like the birth and death of a planet. On “Spaceship Lament,” Omori gives shape to the atmosphere with the sound of crackling gray noise, dripping water, and coruscating space-age synths that briefly intertwine. The inharmonious sounds of a forest give way to a strong, low-frequency melody that overtakes the entire sonic picture in the album’s title track. “Will You Listen In?” is a meditation on the act of listening itself, and is the album’s most impressive binaural moment. Bird calls drift horizontally, forming their own geography from northwest to southeast, scattering flapping sounds from one ear to the other.

The album invites a deep, openhearted, and immersive listening experience. “Let me be your eyes/Let me guide your light through the darkness/I promise there’s a way,” Omori breathily sings on “Snow,” as her Moog Matriarch plods like a glockenspiel. There are moments that are almost overwhelmingly beautiful: the urgent gust of voice and moonburnt synth on “Ocean”; the quasi-ecclesiastical synth symphonica of “Heartplant.” With deeply warm overtones that drift in and out like sleep, it’s easy to get swept up in a journey…. Omori’s album is like sonic positive reinforcement that inspires a kind of hypnosis with its constant reassurance: Keep moving. It’ll be OK. Nature provides a pathway.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Hinako Omori - a journey… Music Album Reviews Hinako Omori - a journey… Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 Rating: 5

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