The whispers of nature come together for SOTOYOTO with his latest release, Other Words for Dusk. A conversationalist with the obscure, this album is another dimension into the sounds inspired by and from nature, notes and themes included. Let’s dive into what makes this album one of the best in the catalogue.
Wanting to Fly is the first track. Overcome by desire and the limitless expression of flight, this track looks at the ability and continuous severance from worldly desires and the yearning for something more. It uses synths and mild ambiances, things that make a difference by sound.
It is difficult to learn a specific point of inspiration for ambient tracks, but where would you mark your spectrum?
I listen deeply to the world around me. It could be the sounds of wind, rain or the elements. It could be the sounds of distant traffic and industry, birdsong or the soft rhythmic patterns of a thousand leaves in a forest breeze. I’ll even listen to the hidden tones found within my body when drifting off to sleep.
Learning through nature
I listen to anything and everything and try to reflect all this in my music. We unconsciously filter out many of the sounds surrounding us, and I’m aiming to surface these hidden sonics that we normally don’t perceive.
This is the apparent difference between hearing and listening to nature. It is not as a break, but as an extension of himself as a translator, that SOTOYOTO tries to introspect using music. Ambiton is a derivation of another intangible this way, a fleeting emotion that everyone clings to. It slowly builds to an intense high, something that is a piece of the present yet foreshadows the notes that dominate the song.
A rise and fall is common in ambient instrumentals. Is the placement as organic as one would presume?
Yes, it is definitely an organic thing. Rise and fall is ever present in life and nature, and today especially we may not always have the time to experience this. Rise and fall in ambient music allows listeners a pause to reconnect with the feelings this can bring.
Mystic Redemption is a fold in the ether that has been observed and creatively executed. It is a singular note train, which keeps an organic rise that siphon into separate layers. There are distortions that enter like wisps of smoke and disappear. There are natural moments that bleed in and flow out, creating a very tense image-according to the appearances conjured.
Of fleeting apparitions
Ghost In The Gong is a glimpse of an apparition. It resonates as a reaction to the previous notes, new ones just echoing what is in the thematic sphere. The track Labotari_A comes next, with a natural, flowing sound that is a hallmark of a different kind of sound. It has a degree that is palpable, yet is in every way within the train of thought from SOTOYOTO. This is where an ambient artist really unfolds in their capabilities. A moment can be dragged as per artistic expression, but the truth behind the emotion involved should be translated to a listener as well.
In tracks like Mystic Redemption, how do you suppose another element has to enter to change the temperature of the track?
This track’s sonic elements are gently introduced to encourage a sense of drifting towards an unknown mystery. I’m thinking about journeys and the feeling of moving towards an inevitable conclusion. I’m also trying to create a meditative, dreamlike state for people, so it’s important that transitions build not interrupt the experience.
Denser themes that dominate
The Starmaker has a choir ensemble feel, with a drone sound that reverberates with natural elasticity. Elements of the wind and space arresting instruments grace the silence within this song with a specific reason. SOTOYOTO even brings newer, heavier sound for the doomsday like sound that is carried by this track.
Are there specific themes you gravitate towards, post the global event, that has impacted every life in some way?
Making this sort of music is a healing and reflective process in itself. Music helps me work through my own experiences and feelings about how the world is going, and I hope this is shared by others. In my music you’ll find melancholic themes balanced with optimism of spirit, light and dark with a sense of journeying towards something unknown. Hopefully also you’ll hear a palette of emotive sounds and subtle melodies suiting your feelings, whatever they or your situation may be.
Haikub has the most interplay among all the tracks. It has slow vibrations that enter like elements of shock, creating a strange epicentre before they build to an instrumental mélange of sorts. It is truly a narrative in a way, making a theatrical middle that really ties other, more sober elements of the album together.
Dance in a daze
There is a tenacity in Haikub and tracks that slowly culminate with a purpose. How does your creative process revolve around this?
Thanks, that’s a great observation! The rhythmic structure of the track is based around Haiku poetry which uses a repeated rhythmic cadence. The music is built around gradually changing variations of sounds and melodies as it progresses.
I’m also trying to imagine a sense of space and purpose as if walking through a landscape towards somebody, something or somewhere. The actual creative process behind this (and most of my music) is always a surprise to me. I’ll gather together sounds or tones and just let them develop naturally.
SOTOYOTO even brings in monologues for dramatic panache in White Flame Pyre. It is a poetic drift, accompanied by some sci-fi like sounds enveloping the theme. Like an episode of the Twilight Zone, it can unfold into anything it wants to. Dark Introduction comes ironically as the penultimate track. It is a collection of harrowing sounds, and based on your experience, a dive into a different side of yourself.
As Saddest Hill closes this album with the unique sound it has, it is a reminder of what we miss as we take for granted. These are tracks inspired and brought to life by nature. All it take is a fresh perspective. Then we might be able to see another world, that grows from our dreams.