Finding humanity in war, Shimizu soundtrack from TV drama Mango no Ki no Shita de out December 18
Premiered on NHK last summer, the drama Mango no Ki no Shita de (Under the mango tree) is based on the testimonies and notes of two Japanese women who survived the ill-fated Japanese military conquest of the Philippines in 1944, one of the most gruesome battles of the Pacific War. Over this 12-track album, Shimizu brings his characteristic warmth and delicate touch to illuminate both the tragedy of war and the powerful bonds between close friends, as well as the nobility of everyday things. The theme song accompanies the women as they seek hope and sustenance through the brutal campaign, blending rising and falling waves of piano with gentle strings. The track “Yashi no Mi,” against which a man falls into longing for his home, is an arrangement of a popular pre-war tune based on a famous poem. Shimizu’s tenor sax and piano develop an individual perspective into something deeper and more evocative. The album’s final track is an 11-minute improvisation on tenor saxophone.
Yasuaki Shimizu: tenor saxophone, piano, keyboard, programming
Hear samples on SoundCloud
Released 18 December 2020 by Suzak Musik/Ideal Music
NHK drama Mango no Ki no Shita de website