This track, a preview of Midori Hirano’s forthcoming album, Invisible Island, does crazy things to whatever space I’m in. It’s playing on my laptop, and just as I succumb to its warpy pleasures, it pulls some sort of widescreen magic trick and places sonar pings — half nextgen submarine, half ancient cetacean — as if they’re far far away from me: across the room, down the hall, in another dimension entirely. Twice I have paused this track, titled “Remembrance” (despite the fact that it keeps me moored in the moment, like it’s less something I’m listening to and more the score to me listening to it), so as to check if, in fact, something is making the sound elsewhere, but no, it’s just my laptop, having been hijacked by Hirano and put to her extended binaural purposes.
A Japanese musician based in Berlin, Hirano here explores a deeply filmic proposition. What begins as ambient spaciousness gathers a very slow pulse, the spaciousness gaining structure, and then, thanks to that sonar imaging, it takes on a sudden narrative heft. It’s a very promising first taste of what’s to come when Invisible Island is released.