See also Aki Tsuyuko - LEO
Two blissful dreamworld communications from Japanese organist, Aki Tsuyuko, recorded and released a few years apart but clearly drawn from the same well of inspiration. Originally self-released in 2016 before finding a home on Enban a year later, it's somewhat remarkable copies of Empty Talk are still available and speaks to just how obscured much contemporary Japanese music remains to western ears. Empty Talk is essentially a piano album, though one coloured by various electronic embellishments and the occasional whirr of an organ (more on this later), resulting in what is markedly private sounding music. I learn that Tsuyuko is self-taught, and there's an intuitive quality to her playing that feels unexpectedly intimate - i'm surprised anyone was even inclined to press record, so personal and homely do her expressions feel. Musique Domestique, if you like... LEO is from this year, and while still blessed by that same diaphanous intimacy, is also more abstract and spectral. Found sound interrupts and overlays Tsuyuko's Dreamatone organ, a present she received some 30 years ago from her father, and one which she plays as if an extension of her own body. Not virtuoso, just emotionally connected, a tonal journey through personal history, memories and experience. This is autobiographical music in such a way that the details of the story are felt rather than learned. Since language forms an inefficient circuit, it's the wordless that's sometimes better at capturing the ineffable. And it's what Tsuyuko seems to be tuned into.