In the already eclectic spectrum of music released by the revered Tokyo based P.S.F. label, Go Hirano’s three releases are true outliers in the catalog’s thirty year history. In contrast to the loud or more maximalist rock releases by Keiji Haino and High Rise or the wild historical free jazz of Kaoru Abe and Masayuki Takayanagi, Go Hirano’s music floats in the gentler waters of the sonic palate. Hirano’s work emerges from a more intimate kind of intensity; he creates a sparsely contemplative and alternately playful music that at times evokes Erik Satie or even Hiroshi Yoshimura. A multi-instrumentalist and composer, Hirano’s main tools are piano, melodica, percussion and the spaces in between the repetitions. He utilizes slight variations of gently mapped out introspection while embracing a more organic sense of openness and feeling. Speaking of his approach when he first starting out Hirano states “It seemed like a lot of musicians were aiming for perfection, but the more they applied themselves to that pursuit, the less interesting the music became. The most important thing for me was that initial, unadorned expression, regardless of whether or not the playing was technically impressive or not.”
From an early age Hirano immersed himself in a Japanese musical underground that seemed to embrace the entirety of radical and new musics emerging around the world during the 1970’s and 80’s. From new wave to noise, ambient industrial and the avant garde and his eventual discovery of P.S.F.’s record store Modern Music, Hirano began to develop an intensely perceptive ear. In one of his earliest musical forays, Hirano created music for an experimental butoh dance troupe that toured in Japan and overseas in Canada and the U.S. during the late 80’s/ early 90’s. Later he would collaborate with White Heaven, one of Japan’s most legendary psychedelic rock groups. His first album Distance released on P.S.F. in 1993 reflected a more avant garde, free form approach.
During this time Hirano began to realize that his truest form of musical expression lay along a different path from that of his peers. He set aside rock’s raw energies and the draw of abstract dissonance for more melodic, quiet sounds. “I felt like jazz and classical were too excessive, or packed too tightly with the requirements of the genre. So I thought there should be a simpler approach that integrated elements of classical and jazz but only as needed, in moderation,” Hirano said of his musical intentions. To his surprise, Hirano found that P.S.F. founder Hideo Ikeezumi, embraced this new direction music and offered to release his second album 1995’s beautifully melodic, minimalist Reflection of Dreams.
Released nearly a decade later the music found on Hirano’s third and final album for P.S.F. Corridor of Daylights presents a deeply developed but deceptively simple musical vision. The songs are compact and stripped down to an elegant simplicity, melodic sketches emerging from domestic country-side field recordings. Speaking of his approach on the album Hirano says “I wanted to present each song as a sketch, in the sense that I was whittling down the feeling of each space I recorded in. The recording process was fragmentary - I recorded each song in a different space at a different time - but I wanted the songs to play off of one another in a way that made the album resonate as a whole.”
Go Hirano - Corridor of Daylight
GO HIRANO’s third album, Corridor of Daylights, is a quiet work of dreamlike brilliance. A home field recording where fragile piano melodies float alongside wind-chimes and wistful melodicas — insects hum in the distance and a breeze gently rustles as summer day eases toward evening. Originally released in Japan by P.S.F. Records in 2004, Corridor of Daylights is a beautiful, soulful dispatch from early aughts Tokyo.
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