Migratory: Clear Vinyl LP
Migratory: Clear Vinyl LP
Masayoshi Fujita

Migratory: Clear Vinyl LP

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Label: Erased Tapes
Release Date: 6th September

Masayoshi Fujita returns with more vibraphonic electronic mind cleansers. 

In 2019, after 13 years of living in Berlin, Fujita returned to his native Japan with his wife and their three children, fulfilling his life-long dream of living and composing music in the midst of nature. The family found their new home in the mountain hills along the coast of Kami-cho, Hyōgo, three hours west of Kyoto.

Once settled in, Fujita spent his time turning an old kindergarten into his own music studio, Kebi Bird Studio, which became the birthplace of Migratory. On his new album, the composer and producer masterfully reimagines and mesmerises with his trademark sounds of vibraphone, and resumes his experimentation with the marimba and synthesisers that he first incorporated on his 2021 album, Bird Ambience, which followed the release of his acclaimed vibraphone triptych: Stories (2012), Apologues (2015) and Book of Life (2018).

On Fujita’s ever-evolving list of collaborators, Migratory introduces vocals from Moor Mother on ‘Our Mother’s Lights’ and Hatis Noit on ‘Higurashi’, as well as shō and saxophone to its soundscapes. Whilst at a music residency in Stockholm in 2021, Fujita met Swedish shō player Mattias Hållsten. Although it was a brief encounter, the two musicians stayed in touch. During a visit to Japan, Hållsten stopped by the studio and played on three of the tracks, including the alluring album closer ‘Yodaka’, exceeding Fujita’s own expectations.

Another collaborator, American poet Moor Mother asked Fujita to contribute vibraphone to her upcoming album, and in return lent her powerful voice to the Migratory’s centrepiece, Our Mother’s Lights — “it carries a kind of African and Asian vibe, a perfect match for the energy of the piece,” he adds.

As with Bird Ambience, Fujita continues to be inspired by our feathered friends. The album’s title, Migratory, originates from an image that came to him of migratory birds, travelling somewhere between Africa, East Asia and Japan, imagining them hearing the music from the land underneath, and how their point of view of the world from above blurs the boundaries of music and land. Expanding on this, Fujita says: “these ideas and images were inspired by my experiences of living abroad and returning to my homeland, as well as by the artists featured on this album who also somehow travelled or lived in other countries across the boundaries, and being influenced by the music of other lands but at the same time somehow led to their roots”.

Masayoshi’s parents too made a life abroad in Thailand for over 15 years. After returning to Japan, Fujita’s mother passed away in the beginning of 2023. So he invited his father to come for a visit, to spend time with him and his grandchildren. A lifelong musician in his own right, the two of them soon found themselves holed up in Kebi Bird Studio. Fujita senior had brought his saxophone, which he played on top of the then unfinished recordings, resulting in three breathtaking pieces. The slow jazz-tinged ‘Blue Rock Thrush’ stands out, with the saxophone and marimba blending harmoniously reaching new artistic heights.

Nature has always been a source of inspiration for Fujita, and on Migratory it takes centre stage. You can hear it on the album’s peaceful and considered field recordings, but most importantly, Masayoshi highlights – “nature is there as the image to be evoked by the listener from the music.” On the record’s sleeve notes, written by renowned novelist and travel writer Pico Iyer, we learn about the Japan that he hears as he sits down and listens to the music. It educates and encapsulates us, in the same way Fujita’s imaginary birds vividly depict the essence of musical migration.


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