Tomas Phillips + Marihiko Hara  |  Prosa  |  TCH02  |  Nov 2, 2010  |  digipak

tomas phillips :  laptop
marihiko hara :  piano - laptop
recorded :  raleigh nc usa + kyoto japan
photography :  m. ostermeier

Prosa marks the first collaboration between Marihiko Hara and Tomas Phillips.

Utilizing a diverse range of instrumentation, both electronic and acoustic, Prosa is as still as it is dynamic. Its formation (a transcontinental process, through the post) was an exercise of patience and concerted application alike. Thematically (but indirectly), Prosa shares a space with writers whose palette wavers between existential crisis, awkward distance, and snapshots of emotional expenditure (e.g. Jean-Philippe Toussaint) and with certain "quiet" descriptions found in classical Japanese literature. Phillips and Hara’s mutual effort to treat sounds as words, and otherwise abstract music as narrative yields a composition that can be viewed as a whole or digested in chapters. The duo’s confident choice to display sentimentality alongside a detached abstraction (thus referencing the sensibilities of such labels as 12k, Raster-Noton, and 4AD) makes for a captivating listen that will appeal to fans of modern classical, electronic and acoustic experimentation, and contemporary ambient.

Tomas Phillips is a composer, novelist, and teacher whose sound work focuses on improvisational performance and minimalist through-composition. He began composing electronic music in the early 1990s and has since created music for installations and collaborations in dance and theatre. He lives in the US, where he teaches literature at North Carolina State University.

Marihiko Hara is a composer residing in Kyoto, Japan and a representative of the artist collective, Rimacona-lab. He composes self-reflective music that explores our relationship with sound and values the strength of silence. Marihiko is a member of Rimacona, a pop group with female vocalist Natsuko Yanagimoto.

prosa I
     i   (5.23)
     ii   (8.42)
prosa II
     i   (5.36)
     ii   (4.06)
     iii   (3.56)
     iv   (4.05)
     v   (3.09)
     vi   (2.34)


"A heady, gorgeous collaboration between Tomas Phillips and Japanese composer Marihikio Hara makes for one of the best modern classical records this year."
Tome to the Weather Machine

"It works on every level and is certainly one of, if not the best modern classical release of 2010."
Savaran Music and Sound

"A lovely work that explores the beauty that lies within simplicity, well worth repeated listens."
Fluid Radio

"A real rich piece of clever contemporary music."
The Micro-Ambient Review

"A wonderful album, one of great beauty."
Vital Weekly

Norman Records  |   Silent Ballet  |   Textura  |   Cyclic Defrost  |   Subsidio  |   Igloo Magazine  |   Tokafi

Tomas Phillips  |  homepage
Marihiko Hara  |  homepage

Selected Discography:

  Tomas Phillips
     Quartet for Instruments (Humming Conch, 2010)
     Six Notes (Koyuki Sound, 2009)
     Drink_Deep (Non Visual Objects, 2007)
     Intermission | Six Feuilles (Line, 2006)
     On Dit (Trente Oiseaux, 2003)

   Marihiko Hara
     Nostalghia (Audio Moves, 2010)
     Icon (Cotton Goods, 2009)
     Reflexion, Und Dann, Metamorphose (U-Cover, 2008)