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Move – Jiro Yoshioka (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

When you look back over the history of classical music, it is interesting to see how it has moved from been something exclusive, being performed for the upper echelons of society into a modern world where it has found perhaps a new found sense of purpose, being accessible to the masses by its perfect matching with cinema. Some might say that film scores are the new classical music. I would say that they are exactly the same, just that they have found a wonderful and more widely accessible new home. And Jiro Yoshioka’s album Move feels perfectly at home in both worlds.

As a cellist as well as a composer, his music is built of sweeping grandeur and long, smooth flows of sound, reflecting perhaps the soundscape which has always surrounded him. But the album as a whole takes in so much more too. As Close Your Eyes, Please proves so eloquently, he has no probably floating through ambient and meditative soundscapes before raising the pace, adding contemporary beats and finding himself  in the world of instrumental chamber-pop before relaxing and heading back onto a more soothing musical path.


And such a song is a gentle introduction to the musical crossroads and colliding of sonic worlds that Jiro sits at. Mania, as its name would suggest, is more complex, more experimental, more exploratory, combining brooding strings and solar sounds with crashing drum drama, enticing, oriental sound palettes and unexpected turns. The Sane Apprentice is a gorgeously understated collection of chiming charm and shimmering sensuality and the title track plays with jazz tropes and groovesome themes whilst occasionally infusing them with classical waves and poignant, orchestral punctuation.

And as if to remind us that this is an artist whose interests lie in the cinematic world, Oasis, the album’s gorgeous opening salvo, feels like the bookends to one of the most heart moving films you have never seen, matching the emotions and drama with its own deftness and delicacy, power and poise.

Move is nothing short of gorgeous, feeling like the score to a film which hasn’t been made yet but which definitely deserves to be. It is a collection of music which is so inviting and evocative that perhaps it will start a new approach to the counterpoint of film and film score. Perhaps, from now on composers will write the music and it will be the screen writers who will use that as the inspiration to write the story, rather than the other way around. Imagine if you had a film score which had a dozen writers vying to be the winning screen play to join it on its journey? Doesn’t that sound like a much more fascinating world to make music?

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