SEVENTH GARDEN

2004 (CD)
Victor Entertainment VICL-61390
  • 1
    Zasso
    Zasso
    Lyrics: Yasuaki Shimizu

    Tanpopo
    Seri
    Mizuaoi
    Kikashigusa
    Suzumenokatabira
    Nobiru
    Hirugao
    Niwahokori
    Oofusamo
    Ezonosayanukagusa
    Tamagayatsuri
    Sanshoumo
    Himemisohagi
    Miminagusa
    Yomogi
    Shirotsumekusa
    Kusanemu
    Ooakaukikusa
    Hideriko
    Mizugayatsuri
    Mizohakobe
    Kakiodoshi
    Ichouukigoke
    Suzumenoteppou
    Fusamo
    Karasunoendou
    Yabugarashi
    Oobako
    Himesuiba
    Dokudami
    Hoshikusa
    Takasaburou
    Nazuna
    Ukikusa
    Koukiyagara
    Hakobe
    Hirohainunohige
    Suberihiyu
    Hirumushiro
    Hotarui
    Ooabunome
    Shajikumo
    Kuroguwai
    Shizui
    Heraomodaka
    Himemisohagi
    Sukashitagobou
    Choujitade
    Omodaka
    Tainubie
    Ookanadamo
    Himegiku
    Inuhotarui
    Igagayatsuri
    Konagi
    Susuki
  • 2
    Magic Stone
  • 3
    Momo no Hana
  • 4
    Mushi
  • 5
    Hana ga Saitara
    Hana ga Saitara (When the flowers bloom)
    Lyrics: Aki Ikuta  
    Translation: Johnny Barrett

    When
    Flowers bloom
    A wind blows
    Vapour
    And a sickle moon
    Ooze from walls;
    It's hot outside
    A dream continues ...

    When
    Flowers bloom
    They dance in baskets
    Until suddenly
    They are no longer
    Melting
    Forming spirals. When
    Flowers bloom
    They embrace.

    We take a path
    Through the pollen
    Taking photographs
    Of a seemingly silent sea.

    When
    Flowers bloom
    We stroll
    Down an unknown road
    In a whirl ...
  • 6
    Industria Botanica
    Industria Botanica
    Lyrics: Lisa Schiavon

    Valeriana rossa
    Epifillo
    Ibisco
    Opunzia
    Enotera bianca
    Vitalba
    Campanella
    Arancio amaro spinoso
    Lonicera
    L'Elleboro nell'ombra
    Incanto di Rosa
    Vite rampicante
    E ricordando Andromeda
    Passiflora
    Glicine
    Anemone giapponese
    Fiordaliso
    Margherite qui e l
    Bella di notte
    Sambuco nero
    Capelvenere
    Agave
    Dalia pom pon
    Licoride raggiata
    Campanula dei Carpazi
    Calicanto d'occidente
    Mughetto
    Scilla di Spagna
    Narciso incomparabile
    Ecco i fiori leggeri delle Camelie
    Ma l'Erba miseria dove sar?
    Begonietta
    Canna d'India
    Godenzia
    Amaranto piumoso
    Guardano da lontano i Girasoli
    Garofanino delle Alpi
    Nannufero
    Clematide cinese
    Orchidea
    Astrofito
    Bletilla
    Le Calendule nel cielo d'estate
    Robinia
    Saggittaria
    Addormentate sull'Erba pignola
    Palma delle Canarie
    Magnolia stellata
    Ibisco siriaco
    Papavero d'Oriente
    Tibuchina
    Ninfea gialla
    Camomilla inodora
    Salvia splendida
    Settembrini
    Palla di neve
    Papiro
    Viburno peloso
    Cereo peruviano
    Gelsomino, Gelsomino, Gelsomino
  • 7
    Elizabeth
  • 8
    Suiteki
  • 9
    Destiny No. 1
  • 10
    Yuki

Quietude, silence… Familiar yet unknown sounds that redefine the parameters of music.
A condensed version of the Sound Garden installation Shimizu created for Pacific Flora 2004’s Dream Garden Factory, this album expresses the “garden of the mind” in a careful mix of sonic fragments premised on silence as the source of all sound.

PRESS
  • Six Soundscapes for Gardens
    Sound emerges from silence, and in the Sound Garden, silence is the central “sonic” element that flirts with subtle noises in each of the six theme gardens. This concept emerged from the awareness that we live rather unconsciously with the barrage of sound that fills our every day. The kaleidoscopically minimal soundscapes visitors experience in the Sound Garden were resized to fit the space constraints of a CD, in various approaches that make use of such elemental restrictions in a constructive way.

     

    For the opener “Zasso,” sixty some names of weeds were sung and recorded one by one. While in the Sound Garden these form single entities that kick in every now and then, the album version required a tighter arrangement that resulted in a surprisingly harmonic combination of children’s chorus and saxophone.

     

    “Elizabeth” is a composition originally made for the two multichannel speakers (of the same name) designed specially for the Sound Garden. A humming female voice from the speakers in the center “interacts” with bird sounds audible from seven small speakers arranged in a circle around it. Like “Zasso,” what was once a loose arrangement of sounds and silence appears here in the compact format of a “song.”

     

    “Mono no Hana” and “Hana ga Saitara” are reworks of pieces originally included in Shimizu’s unreleased recording Kiren and the Mariah album Utakata no Hibi (1983). The lyrics on “Hana ga Saitara” are interpreted this time by Miyako Koda from Dip In The Pool, “Momo no Hana” comes across with the same growing tension as Ravel’s “Bolero” — albeit a rustic Japanese edition.

     

    The album further offers ventures into rhythmic, sine wave-based electronica, a soprano rendition of flower names in Italian (“Industria Botanica”), Shimizu’s trademark sonic collage (“Destiny No. 1”), and an original baroque-style composition for sampled celesta (“Yuki”).

     

    The Japan Times, 2004
    While most ambient music evokes a place or an ambience figuratively, (Brian Eno’s “Music for Airports” was, after all, not composed for a departure lounge), Yasuaki Shimizu’s latest musical challenge was to create music that worked on both a literal and metaphoric level. His current release, “Seventh Garden,” was originally composed as the “soundscape” for the massive Pacific Flora 2004 exhibition currently running in Shizuoka.

     

    Playing in eight-hour cycles through a specially designed, flower-shaped speaker system, “Seventh Garden” accompanies visitors as they wander through the flora (and in some of the more avant-garde installments, robots and glass-blown figures) that make up the six consecutive gardens of the central exhibit, the “Dream Garden Factory.”
    In lesser hands, this could easily have become a cliche of singing birds and falling water, or worse, another dreary, droning electronica piece. But Shimizu’s saxophone renditions of Bach’s Cello Suites have shown him to be a master of balancing silence, sound and echo, a skill well used on “Seventh Garden.”

     

    The record begins with a children’s chorus reciting the names of different kinds of weeds. Spare and spacious, it achieves the solemnity of a Gregorian chant. Other tracks on the album venture into more electronic realms, complete with sine waves and unidentifiable throbs and bleeps, but like Shimizu’s Bach, the music always gently swings. Both augmenting the scenery of the garden while also becoming a sonic sculpture in itself, it is truly the “seventh garden” of the exhibition, what Shimizu has described as a “garden of the mind.”
    — Suzannah Tartan

YS NOTES
  • I set out to make an album on the “garden” theme. I’m not talking here about a garden with flowers and trees, but rather a “garden of the mind.” I initially developed the concept for the Dream Garden Factory, then took it a next step further by concentrating everything onto a disc. While the 8-hour time frame for the Sound Garden afforded an approach that builds on silence as the central element, the time constraint of a CD was another reality. What appeared to be a hurdle at first, turned out to be groundless worry. Linear time is nonexistent in the “spiritual garden,” and the measurement of time isn’t applicable to sound anyway.

FEEDBACK
  • “Seventh Garden is wonderful, pretty, understated, funny and an accomplished extension of that unique musical vocabulary or perspective which has origins in Time and Again and the treatments of the Bach material. An individual voice. Well done.”
    — David Cunningham, producer/composer

    “Why had I never realized a children’s chorus harbored this kind of potential? Feigning naïveté then suddenly becoming petulant is something only Yasuaki Shimizu can pull off. Uncannily poised beats and listlessly comforting soprano—like trying to skip on a trampoline. Hit it right, and you soar; be caught off guard, and you tumble. That too, is part of the fun.”
    — Shuhei Hosokawa, music critic

Composed and produced by Yasuaki Shimizu
“Momo no Hana”: new recording of the 1984 unreleased track from Kiren
“Hana ga Saitara”: new recording of the 1983 release on Mariah’s Utakata no Hibi

Yasuaki Shimizu: tenor saxophone, xylophone, bar chime, electronics,
Hibari Childresn’s Chorus: vocals (1,5)
Satoshi Sakakibara: conductor (1,5)
Miyako Koda: voice (3)
Tamami Shiraishi: soprano (6)
Etsuko Yoshida: humming (7)

Recorded by Yasuaki Shimizu at Submarine, Kazunori Yoshida (1, 5) at Sound City (Tokyo)
Recorded/mixed by Shinji Kano at Pathway (Tokyo)