Juta Takahashi

Transcendence Cover ArtJuta Takahashi has been Stillstream’s featured artist for the month of September, and to honor his excellent work, we’re devoting an entire episode to him, including a brand new release, Transcendence. And we’re just scratching the surface–he has an impressive body of work after only six years of producing ambient electronic music.

[powerpress]

Juta Takahashi was born in Miyagi, Japan and then spent his childhood through his teen years in Aomori. Early on, he was heavily influenced by progressive rock and synthesizer music that was considered quite avant-garde for its time. He went to Tokyo for school, and began his music career after graduation. A guitarist digging into rock music that relied on improv, such as King Crimson, he gradually devoted himself to electronic music, heavily influenced by the works of Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Vangelis, Pete Namlook and others. Though his music is largely beautiful, calm, sweet and melodious, every now and then, you’ll hear a more aggressive sound that suggests a glimpse of his original musical background, and because he prefers analog instruments to digital ones, his music composition is characterized more by improvisation than by programming.

He now lives in Sendai, Miyagi and produces music using synthesizers and computers.

“Moonlit Flowers” – Moonlit Flowers (2008)

The title track from Moonlit Flowers comes from Takahashi’s fourth album, one of only three tracks on this album. A sweet and serene collection of music, one gets a taste of the exotic from Takahashi’s use of analog instruments.  The title track is a musical evocation of nameless moonlit flowers swaying in a breeze and singing in silence.

“Dawn” – Quiet Rain (2009)

The sixth of Juta Takahashi’s albums, Quiet Rain is a collection of four tracks using analog synthesizers, flavored with Mellotron and acoustic piano. The opening track, “Dawn”, paints a musical picture of a new day quietly breaking and filling the world with light.

Transcendence (2013)

This is Juta Takahashi’s latest album, just released on the 21st of this month. It’s a delightful mix of synthesizers and various ethnic instruments. By now you’ve probably figured out that he favors long form ambient tracks, and this release is no exception–there are only four tracks on this album, each between 15 and 20 minutes long.

– “Higurashi”

Higurashi is one of the most common cicadas in Japan, whose sound tells us coming of evening in summer. I composed it getting inspirations from Gagaku, a style of Japanese classical music, and imagining a Japanese forest of late summer.

– “Nirvana Électronique”

This track is a stateless ethnic tune that leads the listener to liberation from desires.

– “Maitrī”

Maitrī means mercy in Sanskrit. It’s a tune for merciful Maitreya, for whom I have a sincere regard.

– “Transcendence”

The album’s title track expresses the composer’s yearning for the sublime.

The digital artwork, “The Garden of Eden”, for the album jacket is by Nicolas Monin-Baroille aka TheUnknownBeing.

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