I got into this type of music through Ryuichi Sakamoto and then Christian Fennesz, I think.
Ryuichi Sakamoto has been making collaborative works with electronic musicians such as Alva Noto, Fennesz, and Christopher Willits in recent years, and I felt like these albums presented new kinds of musical possibilities.
I’ve enjoyed listening to Ryuichi Sakamoto’s piano music since I was young, and it often made me feel different kinds of emotions than what I felt when listening to J-pop.
The way I listened to ambient/noise music was different to how I listened to J-pop, and this had a big influence on the way I thought as well.
How I felt didn’t have anything to do with what we humans call “liking” or “disliking” something.
It’s normal for human life to have ups and downs, but in the past I’ve thought that that isn’t really looking at the world how it is.
Our world isn’t just for humans, of course.
There are also the worlds of plants, animals, stones, and the sky, sea and mountains.
It’s true that feelings like “like” and “dislike” enrich our lives.
There was a time in my life when I was sick and tired of music that was clearly centered around love & romance.
You could say that my fascination with electronic music was born from that.
The idea that sounds that didn’t exist 100 years ago could be created through close relation to the power of our modern civilization (i.e. high-performance computers) was appealing to me.
I was excited at the fact that I was listening to sounds that had never existed before.
Sounds such as sine waves and white noise, however, have a relatively low cultural appreciation; I think they just sound like unpleasant noises for a lot of people.
I don’t really like these kinds of sounds, either.
It was Alva Noto and Fennesz who expressed them as beautiful sounds - to me, it was like listening to some kind of wonderful phenomena.
Mathematical elements are a fundamental part of musical composition, but computers take care of that for us as well. Software such as Max/MSP in particular uses numerical formulae to make sonic systems, which is where I think the strength of the music is also produced.
I was drawn to the fact that Fennesz’s electronic music contains almost no uncomfortable sounds, and how closely it resembles our natural environment.
It’s music that functions as a response to things like animals, plants, stones, sand and the sky, rather than human-centric “likes” and “dislikes”.
This is due to a number of factors - the fact that it lacks an exact melody being the most prevalent.
Melody acts as a kind of statement in music, but Fennesz avoids even something as fundamental as this; it’s simply about feeling the space, and that’s it.
Like how the sound of the ocean doesn’t have a melody.
I think music like this, that doesn’t sound like it’s imposing on anyone, is the best kind of music.