Kiyoshi Mizutani's CD Bird Songs was released in September 2000 in Ground Fault's Series I, its quiet line. Essentially these are field recordings of various nature locations. The focus mostly remains on bird songs, but it goes a little bit beyond that: Mizutani arranged and enhanced the material a bit. The song of the "Binzui" is echoed by electronic treatments, broken down to its constituents for listeners to marvel in its complexity. That's as far as the artist goes, though. In "Aokigahara," the only non-nature sound is the tinkling of a music box (or a jack-in-the-box or other toy) played very slowly, two or three notes at a time. "Hokora no Mizuba," recorded near a spring fountain, features metallic sounds, like someone lightly hitting a metallic grid. A similar addition is heard in "Nimbo." This piece is a collage of recordings in a Chinese city. It is the only manifestation of human civilization on this album and also features a metallic "klang" (A fence? Rods of different lengths?). All these alterations (except for the electronic "birds" in the first tracks) vanish into the recorded environment. As clever as it is, Bird Songs tends to be a linear album. Its ornithological value supersedes any artistic proposition.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture