Genuine, earnestly crafted journey album of ambient moods passing through meticulous stages to a final peaceful homecoming. Very nice and worthy of a spin.
Favorite track: The Dance Of The Sea.
I first met Chihei at the Bellingham Electronic Arts Festival in 2006. Its very fitting really because when I asked him a bit about the background of the album, Chihei described A Long Journey as follows:
‘An essential part of the album are my experiences when I went to Bellingham and San Francisco in 2006. I used field recording material recorded in San Francisco. “A Long Journey” is a metaphor for life, my image of the journey of birth to death.’
Since I was a high-school student I have been interested in the Shinto religion of Japan. Shinto teaches us that everything has a spiritual essence (a ‘Kami’). This loosely translates as a spirit, or god even. There being a myriad of these Kami, they reside in everything but some places are considered to have a more scared spirit within them. Quite often these are rocks, rivers, trees, mountains and other such calming natural places, hence why so many shrines are built in such unique areas.
Given the nature of A Long Journey, even the track titles themselves, I am reminded of how I feel when I visit these sacred places. Whilst people might not believe in religion and its after-thoughts, there is something about such places that creates a space within, a quiet space of peace and calm. In the music and indeed the titles themselves, it is this very feeling I get when I listen to A Long Journey. Its very focused on its field recordings, but it also highlights what a fabulously talented musician Chihei is, with very direct guitar-based pieces, as well as gorgeous piano elements. That it features the enormously talented (and future Home Normal artist) Federico Durand, only highlights its beautiful mystery (after all…Federico does much of his recording high up in the mountains of his native Argentina).
It was a heavy snowfall the winter we met in Bellingham, and we spent a few days together with good friends, enjoying the misty seas, views and snow-covered tree dense walks just outside the town. As Chihei made his way to San Francisco, it must have been quite a continuation of this feeling, with San Francisco’s calming charm and grey misty views. The great thing about Kami is that they are not limited to Japan of course, they are found everywhere after all. If “A Long Journey” is a metaphor for life, then it is a life of peace and tranquility, filled with Kami, and that is not a bad journey at all
released January 25, 2010
All songs written and mixed by Chihei Hatakeyama, except track 8, which is a collaboration with Federico Durand
Mastered by Hideki Ataka from Airplane Label
Photography by Danielle Baquet-Long
Ian Hawgood's post-classical album with Danny Norbury, Clem Leek, Tim Martin and Aki Tomita. Released in 2012 it became a bit of a classic in the genre and supported their Japan tour in 2013. Home Normal
White Lab Recs had an amazing year of releases in 2020 and kick-off 2021 with this epic compilatoion featuring HN curator Ian Hawgood, The Green Kingdom, anthéne & Simon McCorry, and many more :) Home Normal
supported by 120 fans who also own “A Long Journey”
As a few others have pointed out, this album has gotten me through the past few months with a calming and nurturing soundscape... looking forward to having the first 4 tracks on vinyl finally... wish I could hang out with everyone else who posted a comment about this album... muthubuntu
supported by 118 fans who also own “A Long Journey”
I cannot think of another word to call this compilation besides masterpiece. A go-to for relaxation, stress reduction, introspection, and aural comfort. This album knows its role, delivers quality ambience, and showcases the exceptional talent that Past Inside the Present provides. Juniperus Kaizuka