Emi Nishida – ‘In Between’


Featuring a sound that spans from solo piano to moving orchestral fervency, In Between is a captivating new album from Japanese composer and pianist Emi Nishida, drawing from both her love for cinema/television and a recent, soul-impacting trip to Iceland. The renowned Budapest Art Orchestra and Grammy-nominated violinist Bengisu Gokce are among the contributors within.

“Yanse” opens with quivering strings, invoking a cinematic appeal in its delicately unfolding fervency. Glistening trickles appear sporadically, with a darkly enveloping string procession approaching the two-minute turn, where a chilly reveal takes hold. The track’s enveloping soundscape is palpable, and takes inspiration from the Wuxia martial artis film Hero. Solo dizi, solo violin, and a string orchestra combine to produce a ravishing sound, one reflective of a climactic encounter between friend and foe — with the ominous grip strengthened as percussive effects weave in.

The other film and television inspirations come via “In Between” — a gorgeous solo piano piece influenced by the TV series Alice in Borderland — while “Radiance” takes inspiration from the film Oppenheimer; its two parts represent Oppenheimer’s passion to save his country, along with his later deepening regrets.

The graceful, wintry piano tones within “Morgun Dögg” are aptly maneuvered, as the track takes inspiration from Nishida’s visit to Iceland this past summer, described as her “dream country.” Translating to “morning dew,” the track features beautiful vocals that reflect on Nishida’s lovely experience during the trip. “Sorbet” is also inspired by the Iceland trip, with Yuki Kanesaka aiding in the recording of the bowed vibraphone. In Between is a breathtaking album from Emi Nishida, spanning from the open’s cinematic fervency to the wintry reflections of tracks like “Morgun Dögg” and “Sorbet.”

“Yanse” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of December 2023’ Spotify playlist.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Obscure Ambient.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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