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Masayoshi Fujita : Apologues

Masayoshi Fujita is a Japanese vibraphonist and composer based in Berlin. Masayoshi first learned how to play the drums, followed by extensive vibraphone training to craft and play his own compositions.

Determined not to stick to traditional vibraphone styles or techniques and theory of composition, he seeks his own sound with the vibraphone, exploring the new possibilities with it. Masayoshi also prepares or interferes with his instrument with strings of beads, strips of foil and similar objects, to develop unique sounds. The results are akin to distortions, expanding the vibraphone spectrum without eroding the instrument’s intrinsic character or even abandoning it altogether.

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Inspired by the silence and deepness of the fog, the mountains and the gravity within, his music evokes images, atmospheres, sceneries and stories in the listener, the images that have accumulated in himself. At the same time he explores the unexplored beauty of the vibraphone, and pursues the charm of the instrumentation and the music itself.

(Original text from Masayoshifujita.com)

Masayoshi Fujita’s new album is called ‘Apologues’ – an apologue or apolog (from the Greek ἀπόλογος, a “statement” or “account”) is a brief fable or allegorical story with pointed or exaggerated details, meant to serve as a pleasant vehicle for a moral doctrine or to convey a useful lesson without stating it explicitly.

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‘Apologues’ sees Masayoshi for the first time use an array of instruments besides his lead instrument – such as the violin, cello, flute, clarinet, French horn, accordion, piano and snare drum played by friends, but arranged by Masa himself.

In addition to the mallets, Masayoshi often plays the vibraphone with a violin or cello bow, like on ‘Tears of Unicorn’ and ‘Knight and Spirit of Lake’.

By placing the bead strings on the vibraphone bars, he creates an ambient shimmer that can be heard on songs like ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Swallow Flies High in the May Sky’. The latter was composed to let the clarinet express its characteristics and tell its story, whilst the vibraphone takes a supporting role. “The clarinet sounds very warm and soft and very ‘spring’ to me”, says Masa.

“With this album the main idea was to evoke images, atmospheres, sceneries and stories in the listener, the images that have accumulated in myself. At the same time it was an exploration of the unexplored beauty of the vibraphone, and also a pursuit of the charm of the instrumentation and the music itself. Erased Tapes releases a lot of great stuff and naturally became my favourite label of late. And I thought it would fit well to my music.” – Masayoshi Fujita

Apologues has Masayoshi Fujita utilising strings, woodwind and brass to sublime effeect. the beautiful ‘Tears of Unicorn’ almost chimes with tears and sorrow. This album elegantly communicates both soul and spirit and it provides a perfect place to lose yourself in the beautiful songs and spaces between the sounds.

Apologues is out now on 12″ vinyl from erased tapes – find out more HERE

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