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Sound on!

I’ve always had a love for sounds different from the mainstream and over the last year or so I’ve been exploring music from Mongolia to Norway. It started, or restarted, when I read and listened to How YouTube resurrected Hiroshi Yoshimura's 'environment music' — and made me an accidental fan

ABC Radio National | Cheyne Anderson for Earshot(August 2019)

In the article, Anderson says, ‘I first stumbled upon Yoshimura's music when I was studying.

The hours were long, the deadlines were tight, and I didn't have a quiet space to work. To find focus, I turned to music. I relied on YouTube's autoplay to curate an endless playlist of background music — and that's how I stumbled upon Yoshimura.’

I was already listening to music via YouTube and had bookmarked a number of artists, you don’t often hear on commercial radio. Learning about the resurgence of musicians like the late Hiroshi Yoshimura and his minimalist nature sounds reminded me that I hadn’t found anyone “new” in quite a while.

Yoshimura was not new. He created music in the 80s and 90s, recorded it on vinyl albums and didn’t seem to reach the heights of music stardom he may have wished for as a young man. Obscurity was what he achieved. Until someone uploaded his albums to YouTube and algorithms pushed his music out to a global audience.

I poked around YouTube. Listened to Yoshimura . Found Daichin Tana and Haya. Daichin Tana is a Mongolian singer and she has the most beautiful voice. The band, Haya, plays deeply moving music using Mongolian folk music as its base.

From Haya Band I jumped to Olox and more nature sounds, though far removed from Yoshimura. These sounds are made by human voice. Olox perform traditional nature music and throat singng from the Sakha people of Siberia.

Olox led to the pagan folk sounds of Omnia my love of Celtic style music

followed by....

Wardruna (Norse folk) and Heilung (a mix of folk music from Northern European history).

Discovering Hiroshi Yoshimura wasn’t the start of my interest in nature, pagan and folk music styles, but it certainly reminded me that there’s a wide world of music out there. And most of it is not played on the radio.

Now, to dig out my old Caiseal Mor CD’s and relive an hour or two of Irish-based musical storytelling.


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