The good people at Light In The Attic have just put forth a reissue of a record by Japanese artist Hiroshi Yoshimura and it's really, really wonderful. Originally released in 1982 and emerging out of the Fluxus art scene of Tokyo in the 60s and 70s, Music for Nine Postcards is simple, melodic, and ambient with a singular voice, the Fender Rhodes, narrating quietly and profoundly piece by piece, track by track.
Yoshimura was born in 1940 in Yokohama, a large industrial city (Japan's second by populous) on the banks of Tokyo Bay, 26 miles south of Tokyo. He studied piano as a child and fell in love with Western composers John Cage and Erik Satie in the late 1950s, and then later the Fluxus movement musician and instrument inventor Harry Partch. Yoshimura was especially interested in producing "environmental music," where he recorded works for train stations, fashion runway scores, and art gallery soundscapes. Coincidentally, Music for Nine Postcards was originally commissioned for the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo and later released on Sound Process as it is today.
Yoshimura recorded Music for Nine Postcards at his home with a Fender Rhodes and analog synthesizer. The album was clearly inspired by Brian Eno's Ambient 1: Music For Airports (Yoshimura later subtitled Music for Nine Postcards "Wave Notations 1"). This record is warm, meditative, and drone-y, yet masterfully melodic. It has been remastered and is available on vinyl from Light In The Attic (below). Hiroshi Yoshimura died in 2003 and is survived by his wife, Yoko, who collaborated on this reissue. Enjoy.