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A collaborative album by Juta Takahashi and Rebekkah Hilgraves, a voice-over artist from the US, combining an evocative ambient soundtrack with readings of poetry and prose.
1. Awake (English version) [8:07]
2. The Girl Who Dreamed [24:32]
3. Dreams Within Dreams [19:12]
4. Awake (Japanese version) [8:07]
Poetry and story written and read by Rebekkah Hilgraves.
Japanese translation of "Awake" written by Juta Takahashi.
Music composed, arranged, produced and performed by Juta Takahashi.
Voice tracks recorded at RadHaus US by Rebekkah Hilgraves.
Music recorded and mixed at Lunisolar Studio by Juta Takahashi.
Final mastering at RadHaus US by Luis Flores.
Cover art by Rebekkah Hilgraves.
Released from RadHaus US on April 15, 2015.
"It has truly been an honor to work with such a gifted musician, and working collaboratively across the world always feels a little miraculous to me. Thus, it is with great pleasure that we announce this unique collaboration, nearly nine months in the making. Liebesträume is a declaration of love that transcends time and space, and a declaration of hope that the human race can turn away from its tendency to war, and instead turn toward love, which is the only thing that will save us.
Thank you to Juta Takahashi: for your stunning musicianship, for challenging me to move beyond my comfort zone, and for creating such a gorgeous tapestry to illustrate the words of my heart.
Thank you to Luis Flores for your incredible skill and magic ears, which brought these recordings fully to life."
- Rebekkah Hilgraves
"I'm pleased to announce that "Liebesträume", a collaborative album with Rebekkah Hilgraves, has been released from RadHaus. I flatter myself that I could make dreamy and lovely music that fit with her poetry and story. However, if her work hadn't been inspiring, I would not have been able to make it. She is a highly gifted artist. As for the only instrumental track, 'Dreams Within Dreams', I wanted to make it different. I think I could make it not only dreamy, but also a little bit chaotic. The title parodies "Worlds Within Worlds" by Basil Kirchin. I'd like to thank Rebekkah Hilgraves for her beautiful work and voice. And I'm grateful to Luis Flores for his outstanding mastering as well."
- Juta Takahashi
Review by Jose A. on SYNTH CARESSES (July 18, 2015):
I once described Juta's music as fragile. This still stands for this release, of course. Listening to his music is always like trying to hold a snowflake on your palm. All too brief, but so beauty. This time round he joins forces with writer/presenter Rebekkah Hilgraves, in a gorgeous combination of soft ambient pads with poems (narrated both in English and Japanese). Rebekkah Hilgraves is a voice-over artist as well as the host of an ambient music show, 'At Water’s Edge', on StillStream.fm.
The title –"Love Dreams" in English- seems to be open to different interpretations: dreams of love, love that dreams, I love dreams, …
What we are to find here are three tracks, plus a different version of track one. One tracks one, two and four, Rebekkah Hilgraves reads "allegories of the human experience of love's mystery, where love that is strong enough can make things manifest in "the real world."
Japanese ambient maestro Juta Takahashi recalls about how this collaboration took shape: "I remember it began in late July, 2014. […] Since I loved Rebekkah's beautiful and sophisticated voice, I thought it was interesting to let her speak Japanese. When I told her that, she introduced poetry and prose by her to me. Some of them inspired me and our collaboration started. […] It seems that we worked on Liebersträume for about nine months."
Rebekkah comments: "It has truly been an honor to work with such a gifted musician, and working collaboratively across the world always feels a little miraculous to me. Thus, it is with great pleasure that we announce this unique collaboration, nearly nine months in the making. Liebesträume is a declaration of love that transcends time and space, and a declaration of hope that the human race can turn away from its tendency to war, and instead turn toward love, which is the only thing that will save us."
As far as the process, Juta says: "As for 'Awake', I recorded the music which could involve her reading nicely. I didn't play it along her reading. And as for 'The Girl Who Dreamed', I played my musical part improvising to her reading."
Juta used his Yamaha Motif ES6, an Access Virus TI2 Polar and some other synthesisers. This is the first time Mr Takahashi takes part on a voice-over musical album. Could we consider this to be a one-off project, a sort of exception in his career? He explains: "No decision is made. If Rebekkah's work inspires me again, I may collaborate with her again. However, I think this type of collaboration is different from my own music. Liebersträume was made by chemical reaction with her art and my music."
So then? What can we expect from such a special work? Well, here we can find Rebekkah's lyrical stories, recited by herself and Juta adding his musical tapestries, like shimmering seas of quietness. The first and last tracks have got a solemn, stately nature. It's impossible to open the album with more beauty than this. This is likely some of the finest hour by Juta.
The second track, "The Girl Who Dreamed", is an allegorical story about dream visions, where Juta takes a back seat and his music is mostly used for highlighting the dramatic nature of Rebekkah's speech.
The third track is the only instrumental composition here. "I wanted to make it different," says Juta Takahashi. "I think I could make it not only dreamy, but also a little bit chaotic. The title parodies "Worlds Within Worlds" by Basil Kirchin."