发行版本:Pacific Moon Records (CHCB-10051 / PMR-0051)
专辑风格:New Age, Ethnic Fusion
艺 术 家:Eri Sugai(菅井爱里)
It is unbelievable how poorly the modern Asian music is known in other parts of the world, especially in Europe. European and American crossover artists such as Enya and Adiemus sell millions of their albums fairly easily, but unfortunately, they leave also many smaller but at least equally wonderful artists behind.
Review. One of these great artists almost totally unknown outside Asia is Japanese Eri Sugai, whose stunning debut album Mai (review) was released in 2000 in Japan and in 2001 in several other territories. Additionally, Eri Sugai performed on Air by the ensemble Stella Mirus (review), who are planning a new release soon. Eri Sugai's new album is entitled Kaori (Pacific Moon (Japan) CHCB-10051 (PMR-0051), 2004). Eri Sugai's music will most certainly appeal to fans of Adiemus and Miriam Stockley to name a few.
Musically, Kaori is very carefully made, a great wholeness, which kind of continues from Sugai's debut album Mai. The features of Asian and Japanese music cultures are still strongly featured in the music; in addition to the invented phonetic lyrics, Eri Sugai has successfully used e.g. Asian gamelan instruments, shamisen, sitar, Chinese flutes, and lots of percussion, and she literally makes the music to tell stories. Stories from imagined voyages to Asia, stories from the Okinawa area in a modernised folk song "Teinsagu Nu Hana" which also features some African-sounding, Adiemus-like vocals, and so on. Even the 1300-year-old well-known composition "Etenraku" has been splendidly modernised, so that the old and the new traditions go smoothly hand in hand on that song.
Although those Asian flavours are still strongly present in Eri's music, that feature is not making the music to become numb or boring. Also, much criticism has been expressed about new age or crossover music, insisting that the artists of those genres are producing samey music from album to another, this is not the case with Eri Sugai at all. Eri Sugai's music is indeed diverse and very enjoyable with all kinds of flavours and rich ideas, but that doesn't make her music too diverse either!
Both melodically and rhythmically, Kaori is a splendidly made album, featuring dynamic pieces such as the lilting "Breath of Earth" as well as the sequel to "Song of Birth" (from Mai), entitled "Kunino Sazuchi," and very melodic, almost angelic and heavenly piece "Eternal Prayer" which features baroque-like chorus setting. Another piece which deserves a special mention is "Silence," featuring the idea of "shishi odoshi," a bamboo water piece in the Japanese tea garden which gently plops when releasing the water from its hollow and hitting the rock beneath it. Eri Sugai's idea of using sounds like this in her music is indeed an unique and a wonderful one, and the idea is resulted as a delicate, unwinding piece.
Each and every track on the album is an important part of a big musical rainbow, a rainbow which wonderfully contains numerous and numerous colours. And, the more one listens this album, the more colours, different hues and dimensions can be found. The musical experience is so unforgettable that the more one listens the album, the more difficult it is to place the pieces into any ranking. This property is one of the features, which every musician and songwriter should keep always in mind when making music.
Like a fresh fragrance. Arising from the album like fresh wind weaving out of the bamboo grove. You can hear the quiet whispering of the spirits that they say dwell in the hollows of the bamboos. Just as the layers of bamboo leaves are so refreshing and coolÉ the layers of brightly hued singing voices become also so crystalline clear.
Gift of the deities ........... this island of four seasons
Allured by foreign lands ........... this changing island
Do not forget ........... do not destroy our ancient ways
The heart that feels and speaks
This is a stanza out of 'Konjaku Monogatari' (Stories, modern and ancient), recorded in the album MAI. Eri's heartfelt feelings from the album continues on to this album. From the majestic voyage in the opening she goes on to the ancient 'story song' of the second, and in the third, transcending the ethnic instruments gamelan and the didjiridoo, her voice begins to weave the aesthetic sounds of harmony. As instruments of various nations dance in sound, Sugai's voice throbs and dances to the waves of these sounds, runs beween these waves and weaves a tapestry of her own.
Even the bamboo water piece 'shishiodoshi' rises to become an instrument proper, followed up by the pieces of latter half, climaxing to Baroque, Gion Festival and the Big Drums. Here we find transitions of nature and songs of praises to the earth. There are no boundaries of lands to the words she creates yet there is such a feeling of nostalgia (for ancient Japan) in the rich resonance of these sounds. Can you not feel the landscapes, the imageries of the Japanese kokoro (the psyche) in these? But she does not stop at Japan or Asia and her attempt at integration with Western sounds is exquisite.
It is not hard to see that Eri Sugai's music is painstakingly created. She records her voice in multi layers and the main vocal is placed on this chorus. She puts layers of voice over layers and finally her world of sounds is constructed. She weaves the ancient beauty of Japan into the tapestry. The bright hues of sounds dedicated to the heavens in festivals and ceremonies are heard here, an unlimited expression of the human voice and a gift delivered from the heavenly skies.
This album contains the heartfelt desire not only to listen to the 'voice' but to the 'fragrance' of the music. Because of her many journeys to so many lands, she knows now how her own country and other countries can coexist in harmony and this same Eri Sugai loves this island of the four seasons and her nostalgia for this ancient land pulses strongly in each piece of this album.
《梦幻星夜》(Stella Mirus II) http://lib.VeryCD.com/2008/03/23/0000183882.html
《天空》(Stella Mirus I) http://lib.VeryCD.com/2008/01/04/0000176146.html
.- change the .WV extension to .RAR to decompress
Format: WavPack / CUE / LOG / Scans <= embedded Thanks to a-one
01. Voyage To Asia
02. Iroha Song
03. Breath Of Earth
04. Teinsagu Nu Hana
07. Eternal Prayer
08. Ancient City
09. Kunino Sazuchi
11. Voyage To Asia / A Cappella Version