Tim Hecker have through his eighteen year old career, built up a reputation where he is seen as one of the most interesting characters on the abstract electronic music scene. On every record he makes he tries to find new ways to express himself, and Konoyo is no exception to this rule.
The 44 year old Canadian artist began his music career as a DJ under the moniker Jetone in the early 2000s, and released three albums with music in the IDM-spectre, notably minimal and ambient techno. It was under his own name he would gain recognition for his music, and he debuted with the album Haunt Me, Haunt Me Do It Again, where he began to explore ambient soundscapes adding glitch and drone to his expression.
Still not being able to live off his music, he tried a professional career as a political analyst for the canadian government until 2006, when he enrolled back into the university for a PhD, writing a thesis on urban noise which was published in 2014. Had I not stepped away listening to electronic music around 2004-2005, I would certainly have discovered this artist sooner, but it wasn’t until the early 2010s when I partly begun listening to electronic music again, that I found his 2011-release, Ravedeath, 1972, an album still considered to be one of his best releases.
Through the years he has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, like australian sound artist Ben Frost who currently resides in Iceland, modern classical composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, american musician Daniel Lopatin known as Oneohtrix Point Never, and Kara-Lis Coverdale, who I wrote an article about last year. He have toured with post-rock bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Sigur Rós, and remixed music by Isis, Colin Stetson and John Cale. His interest in art have led him to make sound installations for visual artists like Stan Dougalas and Charles Stankievech, and composed filmscores for movies like The Free World starring Boyd Holbrook and Elisabeth Moss, and last year’s Bottom of the World starring Ted Levine and Jena Malone.
On Konoyo released in late september, one of the genres he incorporates into his music is gagaku, which is considered to be one of the oldest forms of Japanese classical music. It was originally integrated into Japanese culture from imperial court music used in China and Korea, and gained popularity during the Heian period in the 9th century. It uses pentatonic scale that has five notes per octave, and the yo scale which doesn’t contain any minor notes. He collaborated with the Tokyo Gakuso ensemble, and recorded the music in a temple in the outskirts of Tokyo, and this gives the music a pace which is slow and resonant, which is a perfect match for the already slowsounding atmospheric and often mysterious music on the record.