Boomkat Product Review:
Pretty, nostalgic and ultimately quite moving piano 'n tape compositions from Berlin-based Japanese artist Midori Hirano, following work for Sonic Pieces, Alien Transistor and Longform Editions.
Hirano was working on music for the film "Mizuko" when she stumbled upon the inspiration for "Soniscope". She was handed a still image of many Jizo statues - small stone statues made in the image of Jizo Bosatsu, the guardian deity of children and travelers - and began considering a soundtrack album of her own. Using her own personal stories, she began to sculpt a record that was as evocative and visual as her scoring work, but related to her own life rather than someone else's narrative.
As you might expect, it's melancholy, reflective music that's undoubtedly inspired by cinematic works, but feels more subtle and less grandiose. Hirano's piano carries most of the tracks, but she livens up the instrument by funneling tones through effects and blurring them almost beyond recognition. The most moving moments are when other instruments are raised into the foreground, like synthesized strings on 'Strings of Memories', harp on 'Inside' and driving percussion on 'Phantom Train'.