Published Jul 31, 2020Toronto-based musician and composer Hiroki Tanaka may have been known for his heavy riffage from his time as Yamantaka // Sonic Titan's lead guitarist, but his upcoming solo album marks a drastic departure. Kaigo Kioku Kyoku ("Caregiving Memory Songs"), due October 14, uses found sound, hymns and Japanese folk songs as the basis for new musical compositions, as exemplified in lead single "Blue Eyed Doll," out now.
The album was born from the time when Tanaka was the caretaker to his grandmother with Alzheimer's and uncle with terminal cancer. Said Tanaka in a statement about his new album, "I wanted to create a sonic archive of the space that had provided me life, and served as space for transformation and shedding. I wanted to provide a voice that I hadn't heard before, one that illustrated the experience of being a caregiver in stark detail. One that celebrated my family's multicultural heritage and created a snapshot of a family's history."
"Blue Eyed Doll" kicks off with a recording of a choir singing Japanese folk song "Aoi Me No Ningyo" ("Blue Eyed Doll") before leading into Tanaka's piano- and classical vocal-led arrangement. All the song's percussive sounds were taken from the house where Tanaka took care of his relatives, which was also where Tanaka was born.
Listen to "Blue Eyed Doll" below, and keep scrolling for more information on Kaigo Kioku Kyoku.
Kaigo Kioku Kyoku:
1. Bare Hallways
2. Eternal Host
3. Inori Intro
6. Blue Eyed Doll
7. Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence