Midori Hirano is a Japanese musician, composer, sound artist and producer, born in Kyoto and based in Berlin since 2008. At the age of five Midori started to play the piano and later studied classical piano at the university.
She began releasing her works in 2004 under her own name, and her official solo album „LushRush“ was released by noble records in 2006. With her second release, “klo:yuri”, she developed further into sound research, receiving critical acclaim from various medias of the world including TIME magazine , BBC radio, and FACT Magazine and such.
After her relocation to Berlin in 2008, she started her other solo project MimiCof and released the first two albums on PROGRESSIVE FOrM, then the third album „Moon Synch“ on The Notwist’s Alien Transistor label.
Under the moniker MimiCof, Midori melds detailed rhythmic patterns with swirling melodic soundscapes, exploring the intersection between the natural and the artificial. She has released seven solo albums in total and performed at events such as Boiler Room Berlin, Club Transmediale, Heroines of Sound Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival and L.E.V. Festival.
She joined the first series of the compilation “SICHTEN” which is curated by Frank Bretschneider, and has been released on raster in 2018.
Her EP „Mirrors in Mirrors“ by Australian label Daisart has been released in 2019, followed by the album „Invisible Islands” on the Berlin based label Sonic Pieces in January 2020.
Besides producing her own works, Midori Hirano has composed music for films, video installations and dance performances. The films with commissioned works by Midori have been screened at Berlin International Film Festival, Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Krakow Film Festival and Hong Kong International Film Festival, among others.
Audio / Video
Atsuko Hatano & Midori Hirano : Water Ladder
Gemeinsam schaffen sie Sounds für konzentrierte Phasen: Kaum, dass Muster und Cluster hörbar werden, scheinen die Strukturen schon wieder zu zerfließen, als wären sie bloß Illusionen, verzweifelte Versuche des Hirns, die Töne zusammenzuhalten, Wege hinein zu finden, in die elektroakustischen Entwürfe der beiden.
Si le premier LP de Midori Hirano sorti en 2016 était passé complétement sous nos radars, Invisible Island qui nous arrive via le label Sonic Pieces est de fait une double découverte. Celle de l’artiste, d’une part, née à Kyoto où elle fût initiée au piano, et maintenant basée à Berlin dont l’influence de la scène musicale électronique vient aujourd’hui nourrir ses compositions.
The experience of ‘Invisible Island’ almost feels voyeuristic, as though we’re watching from a distance a play of emotions fleeting across someone else’s silent face, morphing from melancholic introspection to pangs of cutting anguish and, eventually on the B-side, a sense of breezy relief and resolution that comes through as the bitterness of the A-side subsides like night to morning.
Invisible Island is an album of rhythm, both concealed and obvious, with a gentle, undulating motion underlining the whole experience. Rhythms take the form of repeating piano lines, obtuse electronics, or a dull, continuous thumping – the sound of a heartbeat. Fluctuating drones, warbling and wobbling as if on a stormy lake, help to expand the album.
This track, a preview of Midori Hirano’s forthcoming album, Invisible Island, does crazy things to whatever space I’m in. It’s playing on my laptop, and just as I succumb to its warpy pleasures, it pulls some sort of widescreen magic trick and places sonar pings — half nextgen submarine, half ancient cetacean — as if they’re far far away from me: across the room, down the hall, in another dimension entirely.
Minimal piano meets ethereal drone-scapes in Midori Hirano’s new LP, Invisible Island
Beginning to play the piano as a child, Hirano found herself unable to assimilate into the hierarchical structure of Japanese musical education, and soon began creating her own piano compositions, later working with electronic equipment.
Existing in “a soundscape filled with exotic fruits that fall from invisible trees”, Invisible Island explores “fond memories of lost or unknown places and people”, shares the label.
Berlin-based musician Midori Hirano weaves gossamer pianos with classical, ambient and electronics in her ethereal debut Mirrors In Mirrors. Written, produced, recorded and mixed entirely by Hirano, across its 7-tracks she employs piano alongside synthesisers and effects with a deft touch. A delicately nuanced, multi-layered, sonic prism to reflect inside of. – GH
Mari* is Worldwide FM’s Senior Producer and Gilles Peterson’s longtime radio collaborator, and every month presents a two hour show called ‘Oto Nova Japan’ introducing a new wave of artists and music coming out of Japan.
Mari* brings piano pieces by Japanese musicians and is joined by Midori Hirano, a Berlin-based musician, composer and producer.
“Improvisation for Piano in Summer 2018 exquisitely shows Hirano’s range and skill as a lifelong piano player”
“In the end, “Rolling Moon” imagines the water trapped below the surface, sustaining life, reflecting H.G. Wells’ visions in The First Men in the Moon. As the leaves begin to fall, exposing the sky, Minor Planet provides a perfect score for stargazing.”
“Rich and colourful, the third solo album from Japanese sound artist Hirano is an investigative exploration into contemporary minimalism.”
“Its ambient textures and gentle piano melodies are all but guaranteed to make you dream about the far reaches of our universe.”
“her productions are based around the use of traditional instrumentation – piano, strings, voice – and augmented with often subtle electronic processing and digital samples creating a rich, rolling sound that is at once warm and melodic while tracing unexpected musical trajectories.”
“Dealing with both acoustic and electronic instuments requires continuous trial and error. But in these days, thanks to the expanded possibilities of what software and hardware can do, I can experiment with various mixing methods. And the only thing that matters in the end is that different types of instruments sound tight-together.”
“What do you think that can only be achieved by modular synthesis that other forms of electronic music cannot or makes harder to do?
One of the most impressive aspects about the modular synthesis in my opinion is that you can customise your set-up with any combination of modules you like and build your own sound world with the endless sonic possibilities. That is to say, sometimes you get a sound that you never thought you would get, and from that you get another idea that leads you to the next sound you want to create. I find this interactive experience is the most inspiring thing about modular synthesis, comparing to other types of instruments.”