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Arts & Culture

Tim Hecker's 'This Life' Maps Japanese Classical Music Onto Digital Emotions

Tim Hecker's <em>Konoyo</em> comes out Sept. 28.
Tim Hecker's <em>Konoyo</em> comes out Sept. 28.

Tim Hecker comes from a long line of unlineal composers, likeFrançois Bayle and Daphne Oram, where a source material — be it guitar, piano, synths, field recordings — is manipulated into new shades of sound via digital processing.

"I think it's a feeling more than anything," Hecker says of making existing sounds his own. "Like a feeling that guides how the music should sound. And it questions the idea of composition. It questions the idea of originally writing something."

Konoyo was mostly recorded during trips to Japan with the gagaku (which is the oldest form of classical music in Japan) ensemble Tokyo Gakuso. "This Life" draws from a ceremonial palette, as strings, chimes and woodwinds are warped into bombastic, yet mournful strands of electro-acoustic detritus.


Konoyo comes out Sept. 28 viaKranky. Tim Heckerwith members of the gagaku ensemble and Kara-Lis Coverdale in Tokyo, London, Krakow and Berlin.

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