On the 11th March 2011, the Tōhoku earthquake destroyed entire towns by the tsunami it caused. One of those towns was Arahama, the hometown of ambient artist Nami Sato. Ever since the to disaster Sato made music in an attempt to create “scenery, fragrance and a special holy place in mind” for anyone who listens to her songs.
The five songs on the EP are named after different places she visited affected by the tsunami. It consists of gorgeous layerings of synth, piano, guitar, field recordings and more. The aim of the project was her attempt to reconstruct all of the things lost, including town, people and scenery in the listeners’ mind through music.
“These are soundscape of the area that was heavily affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, where the Tsunami washed my whole town away on the 11th March 2011” she says. “Some people may say that those places are completely gone since the tsunami. But we know it’s not true. There are beautiful new things born every day in the place where it has lost everything in the past, and I want you to know it. “
With each track layered with collages of the sound of life in the areas, her music is full of hope capturing the rebirth of the towns.
‘Arahama’ sets the tone with its calmness and wonder. ‘Fujitsuka’ is a pure joy with its jittering, twinkling piano lines while the closing track ‘Shinhama’ brings the EP to a joyous and uplifting end.
Pulling inspiration from artist like Brian Eno, Helios, Hammock, Bon Iver, Sigur Rós, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Hikaru Utada, Masakatsu Takagi and Ryuichi Sakamoto, she notes: “Ambient music is like a little boat. It brings us to a holy part of your mind where you keep your precious memory and scenery.”
This EP is going to be on repeat for a while.
Our Map Here by Nami Sato is out now via The Ambient Zone. Buy from Bandcamp.