Correspondence - Wave Recital

Marihiko Hara

Marihiko Hara (b. 1983) is a composer residing in Kyoto, Japan. Graduated from the Department of Education, Kyoto University. His main interest is to compose serene silence in music and to pursue his own texture of sounds, through electric/acoustic sounds and field recordings. He was invited for an improvised session with Ryuichi Sakamoto on the radio.

He produces music for theatre performances and people involved in many fields, such as “VESSEL” by Damien Jalet and Kohei Nawa, Hideki Noda’s works, Paris Fashion Week and Kabuki, a classical Japanese dance-drama.

Hara also participates in Dumb Type Exhibition at CentrePompidou-Metz and Shiro Takatani’s projects : “CHROMA”,  “ST/LL”.


I composed this album "nostalghia" after being inspired by several transparency films my grandmother had left me. The films were taken in 1967 during her travels in Britain, France, Italy, Denmark, Germany, the Soviet Union, USA and so on. She had rarely told me about her travels, (I am not sure why), except for a few funny stories. Nostalghia is the process of
my efforts through composition in approaching a memory embraced in those film.

Some of tunes within this album have been used in contemporary dance performance.

Artist : Marihiko Hara
Photography : Etsuko Hara 

AB043 | Jan 2013



  1. Derives

    Instrumental ambient album composed between 2007 and 2009 by a Japanese musician from Kyoto, Marihiko Hara, "Nostalghia"finds the inspiration inside a collection of transparency films he got from his grandmother and which were taken in 1967, during a world trip in Europe, USA and Soviet Union.

    So the full album is about long gone memories with their dissolved colors and ghostlike emotions, a not so distant past but already gone forever, available through traces left by someone dear.

    It's also a question of empathy through nostalgia, frosted emotions, thin like paper, sine waves crossing your mind. All of this contributes to an album easy to like and enjoy if you can get the propitious attention and state of mind. All about transparency, it pictures the moves of the artist's heart as he goes through this collection of pictures, looking backwards as a way to find clues about what will happen forward.

    Honestly, a few months ago I had explored the previous discography of Marihiko Hara without being particularly moved and my opinion was that it was a little flat and often lacking of focus. The situation is totally different on "Nostalghia", the focus is excessively precise, and inside this definite setup, each minimal change and variation gets a lot of importance.

    And I can feel this strange Japanese sensitivity similar to the one I experienced on records by artists like Daisuke Miyatani or Takuma Itoi. Listening to "Nostalghia" is like walking alone under big trees, in the middle of summer, inside an old forest, through which some light can still reach the ground. The silence of nature, the peacefulness, the perfumes, and thinking these trees are there since a century almost and they will still last long after the end of your own life. This music is about phemerality too and pretend to nothing else. It is probably its biggest quality in a musical world where superficiality and pretension are too often rules. Marihiko Hara is not a frog that wished to be as big as the ox, but is just dealing with a sincerity and humility connected to his own blood, and you just can feel respectful.

  2. Touching Extremes

    Influenced by old films shot during numerous trips abroad by a frequently travelling grandmother, and by the strange absence of reports and stories about those journeys, Kyoto’s Marihiko Hara has fathered a collection of quiet electronic pieces halfway through introspective electronica and microsound that make the most of what he calls “reflecting on a strength in the silence and the relation between sound and us”. It’s a lovely album throughout, abounding in melancholically suggestive hues defined by fragments of melody that do not include even the smallest percentage of saccharine. The instruments are not specified, yet laptop-generated synthesis and piano appear to be the whole project’s groundwork, supposedly with a measure of field recordings. The way in which these aural snapshots are presented reveals the composer’s inclination for throwing faint lights upon a single sonic subject, which he does via delicate minimalism occasionally interspersed with minor interferences. The motionless pulse of a track like “Nostalghia: Vein” and the oneiric quality of the subsequent “Lacus” are quite representative of a style that may vaguely recall certain releases from Taylor Deupree’s 12k label – and also, to a slight degree, Keith Berry’s more cinematic shades – but is so informed by elusive humanity and private traits that no comparison is actually valid. A broodingly profound record, totally compatible with the kind of isolation that keeps the germs of a man’s evolution in custody.