Rion – Fireflies


Ian Hawgood will probably be a familiar name to most: apart from making ambient music he’s also running the well-respected Home Normal label. Ryo Nakata’s name might not immediately ring a bell, but he may be better knows as Ryonkt.

With Fireflies“, released on the Hibernate label, the duo works together for the first time as Rion.

Fireflies is “inspired by the magic of low light periods and the quietude of a summer spent in the countryside.”

While this description may sound like an introduction to any average drone-ambient album, the result of this collaboration is remarkably different from most others.

Over a two year period, Ryo and Ian worked on this album, adding layers of drone guitar, field recordings (I guess you can actually hear the fireflies fly by at some point) and various other instruments recorded in different locations.

The different overall sound on this album is the result of their recording process, where each of the additional sound was recorded to a small multitrack cassette and then multilayered onto reels. This means no software or laptops were used!
Another result of this process is that the overall sound is somewhat more intrusive, unless you play it on a very low volume. When played on a higher volume, it definitely requires active listening.

Despite the introduction with ‘summer quietude in the countryside’, I felt that some parts also seemed to describe ‘low light city life’ – like the ‘decayed, urban environment’ captured on the cover photography (by Fabio Orsi).

Not everything may be quiet, peaceful and natural. But there’s beauty to be found everywhere you look – it just may depend on the eye of the beholder…

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