Cyclic Selects: Ai Yamamoto


Melbourne based composer and electronic artist Ai Yamamoto makes abstract electronic music, often created on computer and regularly with a visual component. Moving to Melbourne from Japan in the early 2000’s, she has a unique way of creating her own distinctive highly melodic musical worlds, harnessing technology to express her temperament and idiosyncrasies. Over the years she only has a couple of releases to her name, Euphonious (Bus) in 2005, and a duo with Lawrence English called Plateau (Phono-Statique Records) which was released in 2007, and maybe one other? This paucity of recorded music led her new label to refer to her as a ‘covert figure in the Australian electronic music community.’

The good news is she has a new EP Remembering on Room40 offshoot Someone Good. As long time fans of her music we jumped at the chance to ask her about the music that has moves her.

Mozart – Requiem in D minor (conducted by Neville Marriner)
When someone asked which classical composer do I like, I answered “Mozart’s requiem” He laughed and said to me “Mozart is pop classical artist. You can listen to more interesting ones”. I remember the moment how embarrassed and uncool I was. Still, I have to admit and announce that I do like this piece. His music had a lot of influence with my melody making.

Haruomi Hosono – Night on the Galactic Railroad OST
This film came out 1985 in Japan. To be honest, I don’t remember the film much but one of my parents friends gave me this tape and I recall the time I listened to this tape over and over again and I carefully listened to all tracks. Harpsichord, synthesis, abstract texture and melody made me thrilled. A lot of tracks were so playful and adventurous.

Geinoh Yamashirogumi – AKIRA OST

Annette Peacock – I’m The One
This album is quirky and psychedelic. I grew up on this album. My father had so many vinyl like Bonzo Dog, Zappa, King Crimson, Laurie Anderson, more. Among all, this album caught my attention.

Joe Hisaishi – Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind OST
Again, I grew up with Joe Hisaishi music. His amazing film scores provide so many imaginary scenes and emotions such as fear, anger, hopes and joy which coincide Jiburi Stuio themes.

Brian Eno “Music for the Airport
Famous ambient album still talks and will talk to me in my later life. This album is timeless. It is hard to make music which does not age or belong to “era” of time. Every Eno fan would be able to talk about this album forever and none will stop loving this album.

Slow pace and simple melody loop with texture beneath bring you somewhere warm and magical. There are so many ambient music came out since this album came out but this album still hold the best position. I will listen to this album till the last day of my life.

Aphex Twin – Come to Daddy
My generation would have gone through Aphex Twin fever when this album came out. Great diverse sample beats and playful tunes with Richard D James’s humour made our eye pupil wide ever with big grins. So many melodies were combined and did great catch ball musically like classical. His sense of humour always made me giggle. His music was very influential to my music. I even made the track called “ I wanted to be aphex twin”. Ohh my youth.

Susumu Yokota – Grinning Cat
Susumu Yokota perfected looping and collage of samples. So many samples were thoughtfully picked and mapped. It is a journey. This album can’t make sense without missing a track. The cover art is one white circle on black, which boiled me with excitement.

I still love this album. When people come and hang out, I still put on this album. I listen to all tracks carefully and analyse compositions and I never get bored. Susumu Yokota is the master of loop and texture.

Goldmund – Melady of Elegance
Beautiful piano music can save your day. Perfect reverb give you the sense of atmosphere and space. You can picture that the autumn golden light comes through window and move so so slowly. Dust are soaring in light and a cat is sitting comfortably. Melancholic tones may take you somewhere a bit sore but music is hopeful enough to combat the feeling. I love how simply and romantically piano was played in this album.

Takagi Masakatsu – Wolf Children OST
This soundtrack is composed by Masakatsu Takagi. He first appeared early 2000 and his early sounds were more field recording and atmospheric tones. I was so amazed when I found this soundtrack was scored by him. He combines piano melody, string, percussion, voice, and unusual samples and he embraces his field recording angle with classical piano string music. It was refreshing and interesting. The last song Okaasan no Uta (mother’s song) starts with a Capella and piano dance around this singing to put perfect ending of the album. Lyrics of this track will lift many motherhood sprits.


About Author

Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.