Midori Takada - music between matter and spirit

| art, music

In the age of electronic music, when computers almost perfectly replace instruments, and even choral singing, it becomes increasingly difficult to hear natural sound, especially from nature. That is why Midori Takada's music is a true discovery for us - a discovery that brings us back to the original but in modern reading.


Midori Takada is a Japanese composer and percussionist, best known for her skillful combination of Asian and African music with jazz beats.

Born in 1951 in Tokyo, she has been playing the piano since she was a child and finds herself and happiness in sound. Enchanting, both near and far, her music takes us to unfamiliar spaces and villages, revealing a whole kaleidoscope of sounds and sensations. Every sound means something to her. Both in nature and in Takada's works, there is nothing accidental. The pauses, the breath between the tones, the chirping of a bird and the gradual switching from one instrument to another create the illusion that we are sailing along a large river at sunset, leading to the beginning of the world - that mysterious birth of everything that exists today. This is a personal experience, but devoid of the specifics of personal history and emotional accumulations of life. Often called "minimalist", Midori Takada's music fascinates with its seeming simplicity.


As a percussionist, Takada made his debut in the 1978 with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. But then she moves away from classical music to look for other styles that are more specific to her. According to her, music does not develop on its own. It is always influenced by many things. Therefore, she is interested in a wide variety of styles, as well as other areas of art. Thus, she finds more opportunity in jazz music, traditional African and Asian music.


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For a short time he is a member of the Mkwaju Ensemble, for the first time introducing African sound into music. However, the band quickly disintegrates as one member finds work outside Tokyo and they cannot play. That is why Midori is oriented towards a solo career, which brings her greater success. She has recorded three solo albums: Through the Looking Glass (1983), Lunar Cruise (1990), and with the pianist Masahiko Satoh - Tree of Life (1999) to nature.


She is often referred to as "ambient" because of the incredible sound background and atmosphere she creates. However, the idea of ​​a talented Japanese woman is to find that unique sound and style in which she feels best and best. And as everything on this earth sounds, Takada manages to make even the most atypical objects play. Her first album, entitled "Through the looking glass", for example, was recorded in just two days, with the composer playing a variety of instruments and objects, some of which include a gong, a reed, a marimba and even a Coca-Cola bottle. .


"What I wanted to compose was impossible to record. Every composition, every sound existed in my head and it was like painted on a sound canvas, but I couldn't describe it, "Takada says. "So I made each sound one by one."

The album is divided into four parts, each of which resembles a different adventure through the depths of planet Earth. The sounds are very expressive and tell both personal and collective stories. The title of the album is borrowed from the story of Louis Carroll's book Alice in Wonderland. The individual tunes are arranged in a symbolic fashion, with the tempo constantly changing. The composer shared: "The reflection on the mirror seems to indicate something, but I didn't want to give in to it. I wanted to differentiate my true self, which is beyond reflection. ”As the tempo gradually increased, the piano and reed organ slowly formed a wall of sound. The acceleration draws the listener's attention to the music itself rather than its performance.


Midori Takada is gaining popularity, thanks in large part to the capabilities of internet audio and video sharing platforms. As record companies prefer to rely on currently popular music and proven styles, such experimental music would hardly receive advertising support. But on the web, everyone is free to share their creativity and reach that audience scattered throughout the world that has the senses to understand that creativity. Thus, she became one of the most rarely seen artists in Japanese music during the 80 years. What Takada does is extremely valuable because it gives a different reading of natural sounds that are as timeless as transient. Writing them, like a photo, captures the elusiveness of sounds and allows them to exist forever and to touch them whenever we need them.


Takada's music is in opposition to industrialization and the noise with which machines, factories and cars make the Earth famous. Despite the use of household items, industry products, she manages to extract natural sound from them. Through her inner sense of harmony in nature, Midori creates the naturalness and completeness of each of her works, conveying the eternal earthly natural plots. And maybe she's right that every subject can be played, as surprising as it may be to some. If bodies and objects have oscillations and emit specific sounds, then they can be used to create music that is subject to musical and natural laws. Or maybe the composer has seen the soul of objects?… The Japanese, with their deep inner philosophy that allows them to peek where others cannot, have the extraordinary ability to understand and intuitively capture things that cannot be explained scientifically. Although it has already been proven that objects have a soul, and when we talk to them, they understand and respond with the same.


Midori Takada is one of those big names that seems to carry Providence and help us see beyond. And natural sounds speak more than we imagine. So, between the Matter and the Spirit, the Music settles in to connect them.

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- Author -

Irene Petrova

Irene Petrova

Iren Petrova has a master's degree in online journalism. Author of the book "Breakthrough to Paris". Her interests are in the field of culture - literature, theater, ballet. He has experience on the stage of the University Theater of Sofia University. He won a special award for journalism from the Vasa Gancheva Foundation.

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