Resonance by Yumiko Morioka

Yumiko Morioka originally released her only solo recording Resonance in 1987. It fell by the wayside in the noisy '80s but slowly picked up listeners via blog posts and You Tube clips. It is a delicate and spacious album of low key piano  - it's understated beauty could be compared perhaps to Erik Satie. This limited re-issue is timely for Morioka who lost her home and possessions in the 2017 Californian wildfires. In any case it's something soul stirring to discover.  

Limited Vinyl LP £19.99 MT005

Limited edition reissue LP. Remastered by Séance Centre's Brandon Hocura and given new artwork by Métron Records’ label head Jack Hardwicke.

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Resonance by Yumiko Morioka
1 review. Write a review for us »
8/10 Daoud 10 September 2020

Whatever else you think about Yumiko Morioka’s ‘Resonance’, there’s no denying she got the album title right. The album opens with a single piano note, left on its own to grow and spread and dissipate for 5 seconds, before being struck again, and again, and again. Then, a broken chord, we hear the notes mingle and mix. There’s a passage in the final book in the Chronicle of Narnia that has long stayed with me, about how something glimpsed in a mirror somehow looks better, more real, than something looked at head on. The recording of Morioka’s piano playing has this quality, this sheer clarity. That mixing and mingling is stunning.

The album has the form of something like Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’. Morioka repeats melodies and arpeggios, introducing small changes as she goes. In direct comparison the tracks on ‘Resonance’ almost feel like they’re being played in slow motion, and it’s this patient approach that means Morioka can create wonderful small ambient moments throughout.

Unlike Bach, Morioka occasionally introduces other elements. ‘Moon Road’ and ‘銀の船’ both feature the sounds of moving water, grounding the tracks in fluidity. ‘Rainbow Gate’ features a violin playing the kind of simple and familiar feeling melody you would expect to hear at an inn in a video game, and on ‘La Sylphide 空気の精’ she makes the bold choice to introduce one of the most unfamiliar sounding instruments, the oboe. These all create more relationships between more sounds, more mixing and more mingling. And more resonance.



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