Todays Discovery is slightly different, in that this is a premiere of a new track by the artist, Aphir. She first came to my notice via the Oneiric Escapism Vol 1 release from A Lonely Ghost Burning, where her track Delta is the opener. You can find out more about Aphirs’ releases on her Bandcamp site.
Aphir has written a short accompanying release statement that explains her methods and the background story to the track –
” Tanabata grew out of a tiny poem I wrote while I was working on my first album, Holodreem. At the time I didn’t know how to expand on it but when I started working on my next release, I remembered and sat down with it and all of a sudden it was a full song.
The song owes its name to the Japanese festival of Tanabata, and more specifically to a story that I was told in Japanese class when I was a little kid that follows the relationship between the goddess Tanabata and a farmer called Mikeran. I must have only been 7 or 8 years old when I first heard the story but this one part has stuck with me ever since.
Tanabata’s father is angry that his daughter is in love with this mere mortal, so he forces Mikeran to watch over a melon field for three days and nights without touching the melons. Of course Mikeran caves in and takes a melon thinking to quench his thirst. But the melon cracks open and out spills an enormous river, separating Mikeran from Tanabata. It’s pretty much the perfect allegory for the way our weaknesses can separate us from the people we love.
Regarding the production of the track, last year I worked on a project with some beatmakers who were really adept at turning vocal samples into synthesizers in Ableton and it was an inspiring experience. I’ve wanted to experiment with this technique for ages, and this track gave me ample opportunity. I wanted this song to have more energy than any work I’ve done before now while still feeling coherent with the previous electronic choral work I’ve done for Aphir. I’ve included some FM synths and drums but, other than these elements, Tanabata is all vocals.
Even though I engineered and produced this track myself, it feels very collaborative because the artwork that Simone Thompson made for it fits with it so perfectly. Tanabata was inspired in part by her recent short film, Warrior, and I love her digital artwork, so it made sense to work with her to create a visual face for the music.