Hajime Mizoguchi – Gift From « La Mer »
From Hajime Mizoguchi – Halfinch Dessert
Released on CBS, 1986, Japan

Hajime Mizoguchi studied the cello at the prestigious Tokyo University of Fine Art and Music, successfully graduating in 1985, one year before releasing his debut album, Halfinch Desert. Mainly working for the film industry since then, the music on Halfinch Desert undeniably already got a « cinematic » quality, highly reminding of Joe Hisaishi‘s soundtracks for Ghibli studios or Takeshi Kitano‘s films, with its subtle blend of synthetic and organic elements, that is to say lightly used drum machines, synths and Mizoguchi‘s cello.

Anime fans might also remember Mizoguchi‘s soundtrack for the great 1999 animated film, Jin-Roh : The Wolf Brigade (if you have not seen it, we highly recommend this amazing thriller, written my Mamoru Oshii, to you).

On Gift From « La Mer », Hajime Mizoguchi grasps with great talent the richness of his preferred instrument, backing it with a simple and bucolic instrumentation, which almost makes us forget the use of electronic instruments. This song, as well as the other tunes on this album – beautiful from beginning to end – illustrates how well Mizoguchi gives breadth to his genuinely simple neoclassical melodies. If you’ve ever been touched by Japanese neoclassical soundtracks from the 1980’s and the 1990’s (Ghibli’s fans, you know what we’re talking about…), this album is definitely for you.

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