Contemporary music from everywhere

Daisuke Miyatani – Diario

miyataniThere is a moment, 32 seconds into the fourth track of Daisuke Miyatani’s exquisitely produced Diario, at which his gently strummed guitar fuses with a quiet burst of electronic noise. That combination is at the heart of what makes this 2007 recording such a pleasure. Miyatani weaves guitar and electronics together seamlessly, producing a uniquely organic ambient recording.

This month’s re-release of Diario – along with four bonus tracks – gave me a chance to ask Miyatani about the contrast between guitar and electronics.

“I don’t consider it a contrast,” he wrote in an email. “The two elements are in-sync. All elements exist together in my everyday life. It is natural for me to use them together.”

It’s an important distinction that should inform how we take in this exceptional work. My impression was that Miyatani had set about purposely juxtaposing these two core features of the disc. As someone who tends to appreciate guitar-driven ambient music differently than electronic-based, my initial reaction to Diario was that it represented a gap bridged.

But by reading Miyatani’s explanation, and shifting the focus off of the specifics of guitar and electronics, we’re better able to appreciate the intricacies of this beautiful album.

“Summer Child” for example incorporates a recording of cicadas packed with warm memories of August afternoons. “Rain Melodies” offers up similarly powerful visuals.

The new works are entitled “Brew,” “Itsumo,” “Utouto” and “Kurasu.” The last three translate as Always, Foolish and Live. They fit perfectly with the older material. “Kurasu’s” minor distortion is a new highlight for the album.

Miyatani is from Awaji Island, Japan.

Kevin Press

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