Watch: Hinako Omori | Electronic music
In a world plagued by trauma, music has marked a new age shift in recent years. The likes of Jenny Hval, Björk and Gang Gang Dance have made thoughtful use of therapeutic sounds while staying closer to that plane than the ambient music adventurers of yore. Even more Yokohama-born, London-based composer and sound engineer Hinako Omori. His first album, A travel…was born from an immersive project created in Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios for the 2020 containment version of the Womad festivaland is inspired by the Japanese therapy of the 1980s shinrin yoku“forest bathing”, walks in the forest as an awareness exercise.
Field recordings of the Chew Valley, Mendip Hills and Wiltshire fields near Real World become a solarpunk sci-fi soundtrack like Spaceship Lament, in which sparse silvery mists and hyperdrive arpeggios are lit by suddenly piercing synth hits. Time becomes elastic in Will You Listen In; its soft blooms, synth swells, intertwined whispers and sweet cries are made for deep Pauline Oliveros attention. A word of warning, however, about the album’s “healing” frequencies and binaural beats: “As a disclaimer, I would recommend not listening to music while operating machinery,” said said Omori. “A relaxed environment would be better.”
A travel… will be published on March 18 on houndstooth. Hinako Omori will perform at the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London, with the London Contemporary Orchestra March 19, 8 p.m.