Boomkat Product Review:
An entrancing longform piece for shō, Hammond organ and cello, ‘Fragments of Reincarnation’ is ostensibly a study of the differing tuning systems inherent in each of the three instruments, but with results that simmer and sooth in a way that most immediately recalls Kara-Lis Coverdale’s ‘Grafts’.
Michiko Ogawa is a Japanese composer and player of the clarinet, Hammond organ and "sho" - a Japanese bamboo organ. She is a prolific collaborator who has worked with James Rushford, Sam Dunscombe, Klaus Lang among many others, and is also a member of Berlin’s Harmonic Space Orchestra. Lucy Railton needs little introduction in these pages, she is best known for her solo work for Modern Love and her years-long collaboration with influential EMS co-founder and computer music legend Peter Zinovieff (RIP). Lucy was also the founder of London Contemporary Music Festival (LCMF) and has worked with countless artists from Kit Downes, Stephen O’Malley and Kali Malone to Huerco S and Britton Powell as PDP III.
Fragments Of Reincarnation was recorded in Berlin and finds the duo in meditative form, with Lucy’s cello given an almost levitational quality by the sustained notes and slow progressions of the Hammond. Ogawa’s shō weaves around these elements with a breathless, almost wheezing quality that imbues the piece with a fallibility and warmth so often lacking in longform experimental music. In fact, although the expressive dimension of those different tuning systems at points converge into sections of perceived dissonance (especially as the sho grows in intensity towards the end of the piece), the overall effect is one of complete harmony and - dare we say it - one that packs quite an emotional punch.