12k is very happy to announce the return of Japanese artist Sawako with her first new release on the label since 2008’s Bitter Sweet (12k1047) and her first solo album since 2014’s Nu.It.

Stella Epoca references star time and moving into a new age. The ideas of sky maps and planetary frequencies were the inspirations behind Sawako’s dreamlike sounds. She references orbits, sound waves and light that shower the earth and all living things in ephemeral encounters of sparkle and resonance.

Sawako’s sound has always been fragile and amorphous. Watercolor paint sublimating and fading. Here she collapses eight years of memories and records into layers of sounds intended to open the body to the celestial world. Using generative compositional methods, she recorded fragments of melodies on days of full moons, new moons, planetary conjunctions and around other notable events happening in the skies. Her digital sounds take on a humble, human sound as she observes the vastness above.

Stella Epoca brings friends of Sawako to collaborate as well. Guitar played at the dawn of the winter solstice by AOKI, Haytao. Field recordings at the moment of a total solar eclipse in Argentina by 12k’s Federico Durand. Further contributions from Haruka Nakamura, ARAKI Shin, Yukiko Hayakawa, and gift_ also connected with Sawako’s framework of space and time and bring a multi-instrumental richness to the album.

Rounding out the conceptual framework is the album art, also generatively created by creative coder Kynd, whose computing handicraft perfectly visualizes Sawako’s hybrid approach to her digital/analogue music.

Album Credits

Sawako: apple, aqua, fennel, sweet grass, waves, voice
Federico Durand: solar eclipse + small objects
AOKI, hayato: guitar + winter solstice
ARAKI Shin: flute, sax, clarinet, meyer optik
haruka nakamura: piano
Yukiko Hayakawa: sho (Japanese Sheng)
incense smoke: memory flows
gift_ (Toshikazu Goto + Fumiko Ikeda): soundscape + reading
Kynd: double bass + entangled computing

Taylor Deupree: mixing tracks 7, 8, 10 & 12 + mastering
Kynd: jacket art


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Sawako is a sound sculptor, a timeline-based artist and a signal alchemist in the urban life environment who understands the value of dynamics and the power of silence. Once through the processor named Sawako, subtle fragments in everyday life float in space vividly with a digital yet organic texture. Sawako released her albums from 12k (USA), and/OAR (USA), BASKARU (France) and Anticipate (USA). She had collaborated or improvised with Taylor Deupree, asuna, HYPO, Ryan Francesconi,…

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