...Deep deep deep into the abyss! Like several other composers of his generation, Somei Satoh has an affinity for mysticism and meditation, and he attempts to convey stillness and timelessness in his extremely slow music. His works may be described as ambient, but their minor key harmonies and step-wise melodies seem more conventional than the blurred, unearthly sonorities usually found in that atmospheric genre.
"Mandala", "Mantra" and "Tantra" were recorded separately in 1982, 1986 and 1990. "Mandala" was included on the album Mandala/ Sumeru that was released on ALM (Kojima Recordings) and it was recorded at the NHK Studio of Electronic Music. "Mantra" was a NHK commissioned work (recorded at the same studio). "Tantra" was recorded at Victoria University of Wellington’s Lilburn Studios for electronic music and recording. Although each composition’s production comes from a different era, they all use Satoh’s own vocals as sound as well as electronics. Includes bonus track "Mai", a composition commissioned by harpist Ayako Shinozaki recorded at the Kioi Hall in Tokyo on November 11th 2004. The piece was conducted by Tetsuji Honna and performed by the Kioi Sinfonietta Tokyo.
Satoh says: "The harp is one of my favorite instruments. Also, by combining my affectionate percussion instrument, the chromatic gong and steel drum, with the harp’s most beautiful tone, I attempted to bring out a mystical sound." Although it is not an electronic music piece, this composition complements the world that Satoh expresses in Mandala Trilogy.