Review of Sounds [12k3036]

Bandcamp Daily (US)

When Taylor Deupree invited composer Kenneth Kirschner to contribute to a compilation for his 12k label, Kirschner had the idea to create a song from tracks made by all the other musicians on the record. After he solicited sound files from his fellow artists—usually just a short snippet or two each—he received a CD-R in the mail labeled simply “sawako/sounds/2003.” He put it on and discovered a completely realized, 30-minute, 18-track album. Fascinated, Kirschner began playing it for his friends and passing burned copies along like a rare bootleg. The album was by Sawako, a Japanese sound artist (she preferred “sound sculptor”) who was an integral part of the minimalist scene centered around 12k. Sawako passed away this past March at the age of 45. Upon hearing the news, Kirschner searched for the original audio files from Sawako’s mysterious CD-R on an old hard drive. The files, now more than two decades old, generated nothing but ASCII text. But with a bit of patience, he restored them to their original state for this release. Sounds is a perfect tribute to a singular artist, capturing Sawako’s simple combinations of everyday sounds that, arranged just so, conjure a subtle magic.

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