Stories (2018 reissue) Masayoshi Fujita
- 2Snow Storm06:17
- 4Story of Forest06:01
- 5Story of Waterfall I & II11:27
- 6Swan and Morning Dews04:16
- 8Memories of the Wind03:47
Info for Stories (2018 reissue)
Ahead of the release of his new album Book Of Life, Erased Tapes will re-issue Stories, the first in a trilogy of vibraphone solo albums by Berlin-based composer Masayoshi Fujita. This quietly exquisite album is like a book of illustrations, evoking scenes of natural beauty and poetic poignancy that combines climactic crescendos laced with electronic detail and luxurious melody.
Stories is the beginning of Masayoshi’s mission in bringing the vibraphone — a relatively new invention in the history of instruments often kept in the background in orchestras and jazz outfits — into the spotlight. Having trained as a drummer, Masayoshi began experimenting with the vibraphone, preparing its bars with kitchen foil or beads, playing it with the cello bow or using the other end of the mallets to create a more ambient texture of sound. Focussing on the vibraphone in this way sets Masayoshi apart, dedicating his artistic life to celebrating this fascinating and often under appreciated instrument and making his take on ambient and modern compositional styles a unique one.
So, it is late at night. What left is just a dimmed light at the side of your bed. You open up a book, and then, gradually, and quietly, your thoughts started to move along, with its stories, and your “stories”…..
"Stories" is the first vibraphone solo album by Berlin-based Japanese artist Masayoshi Fujita, who also known as El Fog and a collaboration project with Jan Jelinek. This quietly exquisite album by Fujita, is like a book of illustration, painting 8 delicate pictures of small stories about the nature we are embracing….cloud, forest, river, swan and morning dews….things that we all are so familiar with, but yet so quaint.
Masayoshi Fujita’s style of solo vibraphone is uniquely inspired by classic and jazz music. In this beautiful album, in additional to some gorgeous strings and bowings, he also introduced some ingenious ideas in making unique sounds, like the usage of bead and aluminum foil on his vibraphone, like a prepared instrument. As such, “Stories” is a wonderful result of the beautiful vibration (of which the name Vibraphone came from) of all the delicate sounds produced in this album. They are poetic, they are melancholic, and they are lushly emotional.
Let the dimmed light continues on, and let Fujita tell you these wonderful stories.
'Fujita’s plangent playing proves to be as sweetly intoxicating as drifting off next to a mountain stream on a summer’s day. A gently uplifting and inviting record, ideal for soothing troubled minds' (Rock A Rolla)
'Evoking scenes of natural beauty and balancing the inspiring with the not quite maudlin to create a perfect tension, Stories is one of most impressive albums of the year so far. This is highly recommended.(9/10)' - Exclaim!
Giles Peterson plays ‘Deer’ (on BBC Radio 6)
'Das Vibraphon: nicht nur ein atmosphärischer Begleiter, sondern eine wahre Quelle von Narration, so der Ansatz von Masayoshi Fujita…Hier wird weniger puristisch mit Resonanzen gearbeitet, dafür mit ordentlich knisternden Dub-Drones' (GROOVE)
Masayoshi Fujita, vibraphone
Hoshiko Yamane, violin
Arturo Martínez Steele, cello
Recorded by Kassian Troyer at Ausland, Berlin
except songs 1, 2, 3, 7 and Strings recorded by Masayoshi Fujita at Wyst Studio, Berlin
Mastered by Nils Frahm
His route to Berlin was a roundabout one. Introduced to music via Bon Jovi, his first stint abroad naturally took him to the motherland of rock, the United States. After a year in the USA, he returned to Japan to study film. His love for movie making, however, proved less pronounced than his admiration for Bon Jovi, a band he can still quote and sing from memory. He decided to learn how to play the drums, followed by extensive vibraphone training to craft and play his own, mostly jazz and electronic-influenced compositions. Determined not to stick to traditional vibraphone styles or techniques, Masayoshi started to prepare his instrument with pieces of metal, strips of foil and similar objects. The resulting new sounds, akin to distortions, help to expand the vibraphone spectrum without eroding the instrument’s intrinsic character or even abandoning it altogether. Besides his extremely reduced and deliberate style of playing, it is this aural redefinition that makes Masayoshi Fujita’s craft so remarkable and noteworthy in my eyes. Literally caught in his spell, it was a delight and privilege to accompany his play. On a different note, Masayoshi’s wood prints should not go unmentioned. The cover and booklet of Bird, Lake, Objects present concise, abstract and monochrome landscapes and thus a visual complement to his music.
This album contains no booklet.