INTRODUCING: Kaiori Breathe
- Jack Smith
- On May 6, 2013
Having recently released his equal parts fascinating and intricate Kokoro on Loodma Recordings, we thought it apt to speak with Kaiori Breathe about the Yucatán Peninsula, octopuses and bacon. Oh, and the release itself!
So, first things first. Who are you and where are you from? What was the inspiration behind the name ‘Kaiori Breathe’?
‘Kaiori’ is a Japanese name for a girl. The character for Kao stands for ‘perfume’ and the character for Ri stands for ‘woven’. I just kind of liked the imagery in that name. I wanted to spell it differently to make it stand out. Playing around with it for awhile I decided an ‘i’ fitted best and gave it some symmetry. The ‘Breathe’ aspect is sort of a suggestion. It’s like somebody telling ‘Kaiori’ to calm down and breathe.
As for me? Well, my name is Aaron and I was born 65 million years ago on in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Most academics are agreed that the energy release in the event of my birth created the Chicxulub crater and vaporized the dinosaurs – bar a few Diplodocuses that I decided to domesticate and ride around on. Some academics however like to claim that a meteorite hit the Earth and it was the resulting impact winter which killed the dinosaurs – this is of course ridiculous!
How would you describe the music you make?
It’s influenced heavily by the likes of Vince DiCola, Nobuo Uematsu, Vangelis, Eskmo, Joe Satriani and the rain because rain sounds amazing. It’s atmospheric, texturally dense; there’s a lot of weird twists and turns, strange noises and the odd unexpected key change.
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Talk us through your journey into music production. Where did it all begin for you so to speak?
I got into music when I was 15 or so. I started playing electric guitar. I figured I’d learn piano too, then I started learning music theory. I started producing in 2010, I think. What attracted me to production is that you can’t finish it. Sound design is pretty infinite. You’re never done learning and creating new things. You can get to a stage where you’re pretty much as good as you’re going to get on a physical instrument and the only solution is to get a new one; the same isn’t really true of a DAW.
Is your setup predominantly software or hardware-based, or somewhere in between?
It’s all software bar an incredibly beat up laptop and some temperamental PC Line speakers that I keep accidentally knocking over. I’m not great with hardware and technology that requires lots of physical interaction. I still have difficulty with the washing machine so goodness knows what I’d do with a stack of bleeping, ornate boxes with bright lights that make sounds when I caress them correctly – accidentally start a fire I imagine.
Talk us through the process of creation regarding Kokoro and your relationship with Loodma…
When I go to write anything I like to try to base it on something real that I’ve experienced, if I can’t do that then I won’t write anything.
All the tracks in Kokoro started their lives as experiments in sound design. These experiments were saved and filed away with highly detailed and informative titles such as ‘kerflabberjabby’. They would gather dust for months on end until something emotionally provoking happened to me and that’s when I would start putting all the sounds I’d created together into a series of songs that mean something.
Kokoro is a Japanese word that means a few things, but I suppose you could summarize it in the word ‘Heart’. I like to think that track is the sound of a heart skipping a beat. It’s that feeling that turned ‘kerflabberjabby’ – an experiment in making strange metallic sounds with LFOs and distortion effects – into a fully formed song.
In ‘Saying Goodbye’ I was basically trying to create the sound of loneliness and yearning; the void you feel when somebody who matters is a million miles away. I was listening to a lot of future garage at the time too and wanted to try to expand what I do in terms of percussive samples and sounds to that kind of rhythm.
‘Then I Walked My Diplodocus’ is about how much I love dinosaurs. I just wanted to create something that sounded like a giant lizard romping about. I think it hit the mark. My mom mailed my song about dinosaurs to dinosaur heaven and I got a letter back from Stegosaurus that said they all loved it. Dinosaurs are amazing. I want to be one when I grow up.
As for my relationship with Loodma, it’s a great, artist friendly label. It’s very professional, and coordinated. I have a lot of respect for Lauri and the other artists involved.I get a lot of support from the label in what I do and that’s obviously great. Plus, I know it’s a minor detail, I really love the artwork that’s been done for my releases.
Where can people hear more of your work?
My Soundcloud has a bunch of free downloads and stuff you won’t find anywhere else. You can also hear the first tracks I ever made there, well, that is if you hate having ears and want to punish them.
Any words of wisdom for our readers?
Octopuses are widely recognised as the most intelligent of all invertebrates. They can solve complex puzzles and have even been observed to use tools. They will blockade entrances to their dens with rocks and shells and some are even savvy enough to carry two halves of an empty coconut shell to hide inside when avoiding predators. Octopuses are capable of mapping territory by recognising environmental landmarks and using them to navigate. They have also been observed to engage in play with objects and with each other – although they are usually solitary creatures. Octopuses have a complex nervous system and amazingly roughly two thirds of its neurons are found in tentacles – which have a limited functional autonomy. An octopus can demonstrate a range of reflex actions that can be carried out with no input from the brain. Their impressive dextrous demonstrations have led them to be used as models in the field of robotics.
So yea, be nice to octopuses.
And finally, what is the one ‘Urban Essential’ you couldn’t live without?
Bacon. Everything tastes better with bacon in it. I have bacon with everything. I even put bacon in my coffee. If I could put bacon in my bacon I would. True story.
Kaiori Breathe’s Kokoro is out now on Loodma Recordings.