Announces debut full length release “a journey…”
Out March 18th on Houndstooth
Set To Play London Southbank Centre with London Contemporary Orchestra on March 19th
London-based artist Hinako Omori has announced details of her forthcoming debut full-length album, ‘a journey…’, to be released on March 18th through Houndstooth. The release will be celebrated with a special performance on March 19th in the Purcell Room at London’s Southbank Centre accompanied by London Contemporary Orchestra.
‘a journey…’ sees Omori experimenting with the physical and psychological effects of different frequencies, meditating on healing and soothing sounds and taking inspiration from the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, or forest-bathing. It’s a delicate and warm record, glistening with light, as Hinako’s otherworldly vocals drift over organic textures carved from field recordings and analogue electronics.
Now she shares the album’s title track “A Journey”, where gauzy voices drift and gather across electronic plains, describing it as “a journey through the cartography of the mind, piecing together past events which seem to appear differently each time – revisiting memories, and healing cognitive distortions”
The accompanying video, created by Emi Takahashi, captures the peaceful essence of nature and soothing glow found within the music. Takahashi comments: “The video is an ode to the lush and immersive soundscape. Inspired and guided by nature, the collected footage captures environmental glimpses that evoke fragments of personal memory. A risograph-printed analog treatment echoes the voice in fleeting moments.”
The song title truly says it all. From the moment the alluring rhythmic passage emerges and intensifies, dynamically shiting as the exploration flows, this release is a truly mesmeric journey from start to finish. This stunning arrangement showcases this immersive odyssey that captures beauty, intimacy, and this progression. The orchestration oozes emotion that the audience can connect to and embrace as the journey flows throughout its hypnotic motions. A visionary piece.
Hinako Omori began realising her own creative visions as a solo artist four years ago, beginning with the transportive 12″ single ‘Voyage’ (May 2019). This was shortly followed up with EP ‘Auraelia’ (Nov 2019), which was inspired by a period in which she experienced intense migraines that were accompanied by auras and other visual distortions.
Omori is a composer who thinks deeply about her music, and provides generously to her listeners. Born in Yokohama, Japan, she moved to the UK when she was three years old and lives in London. She began her musical path learning classical piano, later training as a sound engineer, and has since moved into working with analogue synths (on ‘a journey…’ she uses a Prophet 08 and Moog Matriarch). Previous to releasing her own solo material she toured with and played on records by a raft of critically acclaimed musicians, including Kae Tempest, Georgia, and EOB, among many others, but it is her work in sound engineering that provides the bedrock of skills that manifest her vision for ‘a journey…’, articulating a whole world in binaural field recordings, analogue synthesisers and augmented vocals.
Bringing together therapeutic frequencies, forest bathing, and binaural sound, ‘a journey…’ combines inner healing and natural landscapes into in an immersive cartography of the mind in delicate electronics. The album progresses not track by track but as a continuous journey; a stream of consciousness tracing hills and valleys with the warmth of analogue synthesis and Omori’s voice always close at hand. It is an album with a spirit and awareness, that invites us to create a home within its sonic architectures, to find moments of peace amid our own cognitive distortions.
‘a journey…’ was recorded at Omori’s home studio and Real World Studios, when Omori was an invited to perform at the immersive online festival WOMAD At Home. Before the mixing session she headed out into the surrounding landscapes, capturing field recordings with a binaural head. These spatial, 3D recordings are woven throughout the album, and situate each track in different environments, from waterways to forests in and around the Mendip Hills. “I’ve been thinking a lot about shinrin-yoku – forest bathing,” explains Omori. “Being in that environment reduces stress levels, it’s good for well-being, improving our memory and concentration, boosting our immune system and lowering blood pressure, among many other benefits – I wanted to incorporate that into the album.”
Omori is also fascinated by the physical and psychological effect of frequencies. “I’m very interested in sound therapy, brain entrainment and how certain frequencies can put our brain in certain states – alpha, beta, theta, delta,” she explains. “Delta (0.5-4Hz) waves for example are said to contribute to deep restorative sleep and healing, and theta (4-7Hz) to creativity, intuition and emotional processing.”
Omori detuned oscillators to create binaural beats, syncing to the Hz of our brainwaves so that listeners might further find themselves calmed by and immersed in these soundscapes, as a sort of sonic bathing and deep listening. Within this highly tuned and deeply relaxing sound world, Omori’s vocals drift in and out, offering signposts and poetic lyrics that act as Rorschach-like motifs so that listeners might find their own narrative in the record.
‘a journey…’ will be released on March 18th via Houndstooth. Hinako Omori will play London’s Southbank Centre with London Contemporary Orchestra on March 19th – details here.
‘a journey…’ track list:
1. Spaceship Lament
2. A Journey
4. Will You Listen In
7. (Nature Reset Gap)
8. The Richest Garden In Your Memory