Tears of a Cloud, the new solo album by Taiko Saito is now on sale.
Tears of a Cloud
Release date : April 28, 2023 (LP and CD)
Available on : LP, CD, Digital Formats
Digital Album on Bandcamp (7 EUR)
- Sound Gradation
- Angry Bee
- Time for M
- Tears of a Cloud
Tears of a Cloud, the new solo album by marimba and vibraphone virtuoso Taiko Saito, throws the spotlight on a major talent in improvised new music. With dazzling precision, and a discerning ear for new textures and colors, Saito makes music that is unprecedented, full of melodic and rhythmic surprise and invention of breathtaking originality.
Most of the album is totally improvised with no preconceived ideas. Anything might happen once she starts. For instance, “Daichi” alternates between pregnant silences and eruptions of phrases, balancing stillness and sound. Using heavy leather mallets that she handmade herself, Saito explores unique tones with a feeling for proportion, shape, and spontaneous structure. On another improvised piece, “Uneri,” Saito creates a unique sound world by using the vibraphone’s open pedal and motor to make clouds of resonant notes that enshroud her flowing lines. On the title track, gently throbbing overtones also form a backdrop for a delicate improvised melody that grows deliberately note by note.
On other pieces, Saito takes a motif and develops it over the course of her improvisation. On “Rain,” her motifs mimic the irregular rhythms of nature, achieving a graceful asymmetry as they lengthen and morph into a continuous dance of notes. On “Sound Gradation” she ingeniously manipulates rhythmic motifs, subtly shifting accents in the melodic material and using different mallets to create new tone colors. The result is varied yet unified.
And then there’s the arresting “Underground I,” a sound exploration on which Saito uses a double bass bow and two oversized soft sticks. The wide range of textures and colors reveal her to be an explorer of the marimba’s sonic potential, unafraid to push the limits of the instrument’s capacity for new sounds with deep emotional resonances.