Interview with Kenji Kihara (September 2018)
1. What are some recent inspirations?
The bugs’ voices are swapped, inspired by changes in the season.
2. How often do you make field recordings?
One or two times a week.
The house is surrounded by mountains and the ocean, and I am recording there.
3. Have you always lived in Horiuchi? What role does that landscape play in your music?
I always live in “Hayama”. (Horiuchi is the name of a small parcel, “Hayama” is suitable)
Hayama is a place where nature and the town coexist well.
It brings harmony of the mind.
4. You post a lot of pictures online of the same places from day to day. Do you feel very connected to the subtle changes of your home as it moves through the seasons?
I think that it is also importantly related to change of mind.
5. Do you feel like your music dialogues with the work any other musicians in particular and their approach to sound?
I feel like a music dialogue.
My music has no sound of my own.
When working with other musicians,
It will be completed in a form closely resembling the sounds of other musicians.
6. Do you feel like self-expression is a part of your art? Or is the art more about serving a particular purpose or functionality?
My music is not for self expression.
I am making music that creates the atmosphere of the place and something that makes me feel something.
For example, I make music like fragrance.
To keep harmony with nature.
7. Why do you make music? What can music do for you that other art forms can not?
Since childhood I was a child interested in sound.
The sound taught me every natural thing.
The music I make is not to express myself,
It is a thing to make the space there better, or just what is there just with nature.
Occasionally, Wind Chime sounds in the wind, and the leaves of the trees rub against it, and it expresses such sounds with music.
I express expressing the creation of space through music production.
8. Do you improvise much while recording? If so, how much is improvised and how much is composed before recording?
Basically I do improvisation when I record.
Then rebuild what you recorded.
9. You also record music as Sphontik and with BGM LAB. How do you see the releases under your own name as different from these other projects? Do you feel like you can explore certain sounds under your own name That you can not with the other projects?
Kenji Kihara is mainly composed of electronic and ambient music, and sphontik mainly produces sampled music.
Kenji Kihara makes more deep music. sphontik is music that contains dance elements.
BGM LAB. Co-written with yuri miyauchi, it is separate from the production by Kenji Kihara.
10. Words of wisdom you like to recall in times of need?
“listen to the sound of the earth turning”
A word that makes me reconfirm that I am part of nature.
Inner Islands recently released Kenji’s Scenes of Scapes
album on cassette and digitally. The album is available from our Bandcamp page.