While Benni Gurn and I are still working on our John Cage documentary (Cage 64) – thanks to the pandemic – my friend Yui Onodera has already released the beautiful soundtrack that he created for it: “Ray”.
Yui is not only responsible for the soundtrack, I also visited him in Tokyo three years ago, where I conducted a series of interviews with him on how John Cage influenced his work. “Without Cage, I would probably not make any music at all,” he said. It was then when I introduced him to avantgarde legend Toshi Ichiyanagi, whom I had interviewed before – it was great to see the meeting of these two generations. I still remember the shy, respectful way in which Yui greeted Ichiyanagi – which was of course also ‘typically Japanese’: They did not exchange a lot of words, and they didn’t need to, their decent gestures said it all. One of the reasons why I love this country so much.
Here’s the photo we took afterwards.
Since then, Yui has made quite a career (and also collaborated with another musician whose work I like a lot, Robert Lippok; I was lucky to be in Karachi to record his fabulous session at Amin Gulgee’s place). Benni and I especially love the title track, “Ray” – we are very thankful to be able to feature it as the opening music for our film. It somehow reminds me of my favorite track from Wim Wender’s “Pina”, Jun Miyake’s “Lillies of the Valley” – to me, they are both on the same level, and they also share a few characteristics, for instance the subtle, hypnotic rhythm. Yui’s is more meditative, much slower, which works very well with our images – wait and see (hopefully we are finally done in 2022). Until then: Enjoy the music.