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First solo thing on Sonic Pieces for Japanese-born Berlin-based composer Midori Hirano. Hirano terraforms a small planet for you, turning a barren wasteland into a calm and beautiful vista, where everything moves with a sort of quiet contentedness revolving around piano and electronics, a perfect blend of subtle neo-classicism and ambience.

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  • CD £26.99
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  • sp 024-cd
  • sp 024-cd / Limited CD on Sonic Pieces. Edition of 350 copies in handmade and numbered book packaging

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  • LP £26.99
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  • sp 024-lp
  • sp 024-lp / Limited LP on Sonic Pieces. Edition of 450 copies in handmade cardboard/textile packaging, embossed and numbered, including printed innersleeve

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REVIEWS

Minor Planet by Midori Hirano
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9/10 Jamie Staff review, 29 September 2016

Sonic Pieces, for their 24th release, have erected their velvet-covered stage for Midori Hirano. On her first record for Berlin’s modern classical / ambient boutiquers, Kyoto-born Hirano has taken her reliable chair at her piano and set her banks of electronics to gentle spin. Delicates only. Oh, but these soundscapes she has crafted are stunningly super-soft and seductive. And they come in a limited, numbered book sleeve.

Rather than set about a sort of musical yarn-bombing, however, Midori has actually set about creating a whole new world; a planet, a minor planet to be precise. No sparse, barren dustiness on this planet, however. No, this planet is lush -- all green rolling hills and hydrated with clear, flowing rivers and crystalline pools with the occasional craggy rock-face and waterfall for dramatic effect. The impossible beauty of it all. Piano combines with electronics and spectrally engineered field recordings to perfectly re-create her calm and soothing vistas in your mind’s eye.

As if, say, Hauschka were completely concentrating on abstraction with Deaf Center to supply chord progressions suggestive of wide open fields and widescreen horizons; this album is all about the little details and micro melodies. Sounds alternate between free-flowing and tranquil simmering, with bubbles occasionally rising to the surface to pop and release even more lovely chords. So that’s it, then: this record is lovely. Not too fluffy, just soft enough to wrap yourself in. Like one of those bamboo blankets but not as expensive. Fans of non-minimal ambient will be pleased.


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