Shiki is the product of a collaboration between sound artists and improvisers Mehata Sentimental Legend and Hervé Perez.
The exchange is made possible through modern technology: from recording techniques to modern instruments, samplers and most importantly, communication technology which allows for social network communities such as soundcloud and large file exchanges over the net.
And although this work is very modern, there is something timeless about it. Some of the instruments used are traditional (mostly Japanese flutes and percussion) and often, the contents are references to both traditional forms and contemporary music styles.
Moreover, beyond the practical and tangible aspects, the entire collaboration has a quality that is beyond time and styles. The process of recording, file exchange, development of the work has evolved in a very organic way: slowly, taking time, over long periods, and happened only as and when relevant. There was never a desire or pressure to create a product, and rather, things happened when they felt 'right' and at the appropriate time for both of us.
The same frame of mind applies to every aspect of the work. And the understanding between collaborators has always been on a deeply human and natural level - the basis of which was a meeting of spirit. Outside the boundaries of time and space.
Although there is a thread running through the album, connecting each piece, the tracks are unique, and were created in a singular way. One may be able to hear the evolution in approach of these documents of events, performances, over time.
Central to the work is a practice inspired by traditional Japanese music and particularly the shakuhachi: improvisation and mindfulness. A meditative practice and deep connection with the environment is present throughout (communication with the natural world, the elements and soundscape but also the use of natural acoustics - see for ex. Hervé's project 'sounding out' on his website and web pages).
The starting points of many of these tracks are in situ recordings. Mehata's insightful and very sensitive participation painted a coherent image and gave meaning to the work with the use of colour, completely in tune with the quality of energy. Inspired and inspirational, Mehata's arrangements made the original improvisations flourish.
To complete the cycle, the tracks traveled back to Hervé for production, mixing and mastering.
The process of making this work has been deeply inspiring, and a true pleasure for both of us. And we sincerely hope you will enjoy our shared attraction to deep listening.