Sunshine Filtering Through Foliage

Koji Asano

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Sunshine Filtering Through Foliage Review

by Fran├žois Couture

When played loud, an analog synthesizer cannot move mountains but it can sure make the contents of your cupboard shake. When you are a composer and conceptual sound artist like Koji Asano, you don't just record a collection of analog synthesizer pieces. You place microphones at some distance from the speakers, perform your piece, and record both the music and its effects in the studio. Sunshine Filtering Through Foliage features Asano exploring how he can make his surroundings shake. Low tones, high tones, and intersecting sine waves interact with the various objects in his studio. The pieces themselves consist of minimalist gestures. "Rift in the Cloud" is an ambient low-register piece, while "Mild Morning" and "August Border" often venture into noisy, harsh territory. The recording technique used implies a loss in sound quality. The music doesn't feel as close to you or immediately "there" as it should. It reaches you through the mediation of the room, enriched by its resonances. The low tones in "Rift in the Cloud" produce the most interesting results (and here, Asano clearly explores the possibilities of his idea), but the most stunning work is the 33-minute "August Border," a strange, merciless aural assault one wishes would have been recorded in a more direct way. For the very open-minded only.