Moon Light Reflecting Over Mountains
On Moon Light Reflecting Over Mountains, Tokyo's Chihei Hatakeyama evokes an instrumental poetic grace that marks him out as one of the icons of his generation. Drawing upon a broad swath of aesthetic references, he seamlessly melts glacial ambient drifts with richly harmonic guitar strata that echo the gliding motions of My Bloody Valentine, Ride, and Cocteau Twins. Never resolving to clear melody, his interest in unrestrained harmonics creates a depth to his compositions and moreover a profound sense of the personal. Like Saunter (2009) and Mirror (2011), his other editions for Room40, Moon Light Reflecting Over Mountains reveals Chihei's recurrent interest in place, as in "A Bronze Pike," in which strummed acoustic guitars are cloaked in a soundscape that suggests an urban dwelling, and sirens and voices clearly emerge as the piece meanders. Moon Light Reflecting Over Mountains is perhaps Chihei's most complete work to date. It reconciles his interests in harmony, texture, and space. It etches out a map into familiar yet unexpected territories. These are very much his own lands, but they are lands in which we, as listeners, are welcome to roam. Chichei is one of Tokyo's leading figures, and his considered minimalist approach has earned him a formidable reputation as a fearless textural experimentalist. He has performed for years under his given name and also as one half of the electroacoustic duo Opitope, along with Tomoyoshi Date. Chihei's polychromic and memory-evoking soundscapes are created utilizing various recorded materials of electric and acoustic instruments such as electric guitars, vibraphone, and piano.