Silentwave – Daiyuzan

[Reviewed by stark]

I’ve heard that Daiyuzan Saijoji Temple is one of the most peaceful and quiet places in Japan; perhaps in the whole world. With all the old cedars, ponds and pagodas it favours contemplation. Now I can’t say if that’s true. After all, everything is or soon may become a tourist attraction and even though the temple is not one of those the most popular, a lot of people visits it every day. Especially since it’s not far from Tokyo and Yokohama.

On the other hand, the Japanese have a lot of respect for the traditions of their elders and religion. Spiritual life is important to them as well, therefore I suspect that when you visit the temple, you may find some beautiful spots where everything you hear is only the sound of the environment: birds singing, trees humming, insects chirping. All of this because other people are looking for the same and have respect for historical heritage.

Noguchi Yoshinori’s visit in Daiyuzan Saijoji Temple inspired him to record an album which is a sonic illustration of such a trip. The CD booklet includes several photos of the temple and it’s surroundings. There are three very long tracks lasting almost 70 minutes in total. Its impossible to analyze them with terms like “good” or “bad”, but rather “it works” or “it doesn’t work”. If you’re susceptible to such fragile and ethereal sounds I think it will work for you. These compositions are built upon the soothing sound of waves, stretched in time and space, making you feel at peace and opening the path to enlightenment. It reminds me a bit of works by his fellow countryman, Takahiro Yorifuji, who is behind my beloved Hakobune project. I feel that Hakobune to a greater degree relies on field recordings which are present here as well, yet never dominate his sublime sequences.

Hakobune “works” with me slightly better, but, it’s just my personal feeling – Silentwave’s release has everything that is required for such music: good sound and captivating atmospheres filtered through the artist’s sensitivity. All the rest are mere details.

gterma, gterma051
CD 2016

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