12k presents Shizuku, the debut album from Illuha (a play off the word “island” in Portugese) comprised of Tokyo residents Corey Fuller and Tomoyoshi Date. Shizuku was recorded in a 100-year old church in Bellingham, Washington and the duo used ambient and quad-microphone techniques to capture the natural acoustics of the high-vaulted ceilings, wooden floors, stained glass and the natural resonances of the space.
A beautiful variety of instruments were used to create the soft tones of the album at once like liquid and at the same time like air. Pipe organ, vibraphone, dulcimer, accordion, rhodes, piano, and analog synthesizer are only a selection of what was used to create the rich, and tonally warm sound of the album. It’s as if movements and textures were dropped into the ocean to let float around and combine with others that touched. Field recordings and the most delicate touch of computer processing give a modern feel to this electro-acoustic world.
In a bit of a departure for 12k, the third song on the album features spoken word from renowned Japanese Tanka poet Tadahito Ichinoseki. A deeply moving poem, essentially one about Christmas; silence, god, birth, death, Ichinoseki’s raw, vulnerable voice carries over a tonal backdrop that gradually swells in intensity with plucked string harmonics and soft, echoing percussion. Artist John Friesen also adds cello on tracks 1 and 2.
The deeply encompasing and personal sound of Shizuku is by no coincidence. During the year it was recorded both artists underwent intense personal pain and happiness as well as the earthquake that rocked their lives in March of 2011. Shizuku stands as an emotional release for the artists that clearly comes through in its progressions, carefully played sounds and enveloping atmosphere.