Because I live an ordinary city life, most of the music that reach my ears are those that come through the speakers. Hardly any instruments exist in space surrounding which create direct vibrations of the air that reach my ears without my conscious awareness. It is the same with the radio and television or in office buildings or at shopping malls, music that come via the "speakers" are the commonplace. And these sounds have no distinction if they are live instrumental sounds, electronic sounds or if they are natural sounds.
Listening to the album "Wings of the Dawn" by Naoyuki Onda made me think about this "environment of sounds". People are familiar with most of the sounds contained in the album in their daily lives. Synthesizer-orchestration, computer created beats, bass notes, rising tones of the piano. Perhaps it's because we have gotten so used to them, that we have forgotten we are listening to them. We can consciously trace the flow of the sounds or just play the music in the room like it was a part of the interior, like a "interior decoration of sounds".
But suddenly there is this harmony that your ears are drawn to. A little different from the surrounding sounds, this harmony works like a spice. And eventually you realize that these sounds are coming from Japanese and Chinese musical instruments. Shakuhachi, koto, niko and kosou... these are instruments which have made frequent appearances in the recent years but have not been so very familiar many a time and many a place. But beyond the speakers, these instruments play along with the synthesizers and western instruments, making a single music, at the same time, adding something a bit different in taste.
These are harmonies original to the instruments of the East. Bits of sounds that are included in a very natural form. Listeners are drawn to focus on these tones, the tempo. The tones evoke landscapes. People may draw near and far from the evoked images. Naoyuki Onda uses these instruments but does not forcibly mix the "colors". One song contains one instrument, one tone creating a contrast of the particular color of the piece against other pieces. That's why the listener can remember back on the vivid tones and images of each piece in the album.
Landscapes of sounds stretch out beyond the "speakers". The focus and the harmony of sounds have fit in naturally in their places. Where then is the most appropriate placement for this album "Wings of the Dawn"?