Hirohito Ihara, who founded radicalfashion in Kobe, Japan, speaks of the subconscious influence of his surroundings on his work. He links the sea with his “liking for some kind of nostalgia”. In the purest spirit of abstract expression, Hirohito allows the listeners to experience in his debut full-length, Odori, their own emotions without any guiding elements. Of his piano work, he says, “I have come to like gentle notes created by striking piano keys softly, rather than clear-cut, strong key touches.” Again, he avoids the “clear-cut”. He confesses to a regional influence on his music but consciously tempers it. “I don’t think my music should have too much localness because I want many people around the world to like my music,” he says.
Hirohito began playing piano at a young age. As his play matured he “became conscious of the beauty of sounds as a melody.” This awareness was illustrated for him by M. Ravel’s “Piano Concerto in G” (1929-1931). “Its beauty deeply impressed me,” he comments. It’s interesting to note that Ravel is considered one of the great French musical Impressionists. That movement was noted for it’s focus on mood and atmosphere and it’s use of dissonance and the whole tone scale to create hazy, dreamy, effects.
The richly textured and strikingly original Odori is a composite of contrasting elements. In all senses it is new, fresh, and distinctive yet it sounds familiar. It’s a lethargic sonata, free but structured, composed but improvisational. It’s a fascinating sound world where elegant, sophisticated piano compositions and highbrow experimentalism with uncommon scales collide with playful, modern electronics.