Tetsu Umehara was born in Yokohama, Japan, but spent much of his childhood in Dusseldorf, and it was in the western German city that his nascent interest in architecture first blossomed. His debut album, Handwritten, is a personal journey that explores the intersection between architectural urbanism, acoustic ecology and human emotion.
Formed from a diverse range of sounds created from field-recordings taken in, and inspired by, various cities and urban settings, Handwritten pairs guitar, piano and angular percussive elements to create a rich world of aural depth and intricacy.
“If music is a site-specific culture, then the process of making music is nothing more than creating an imaginary place within oneself.”
Whilst Tetsu learned to play music from a young age, architecture always remained a driving passion and he would go on to study architectural design at Tokyo University of the Arts. His studies have continued to create an inner dialogue around sound and space, imagining music for specific sites and visualising architectural designs in his own sonic creations.
Handwritten is an ode to the diverse styles of architecture that have influenced Tetsu. From the modern urban planning of Yokohama’s harbour to the inorganic sprawl of Berlin, Tetsu sees the fluid hand of the artistic creator in a building’s immobile geometry. In an attempt to mirror the disciplined complexity of a city within music, Tetsu has found a way to talk about the interaction of spatial and auditory dynamics.
“It is important that the Handwritten be a record of my musical journey. For me, making the album was like a short trip through the landscapes of my memory.”
Handwritten is released by Métron Records on 08/06/22 with the album’s artwork a collage of various sketches taken from Tetsu’s time studying. A portion of profits will be donated to Human Rights Now (HRN), a Japanese organisation looking to improve human rights around Asia.
released June 8, 2022
Written and Recorded by Tetsu Umehara
Piano on Steel Blue by Yoshiki Masuda
Mastered by Brandon Hocura
Artwork by Tetsu Umehara
Design by Jack Hardwicke
This album is like watching a sped up video of a small sprout growing into a seedling in loamy topsoil. Or a few microscopic organisms wriggling about. Very wholesome.
Pasta rating: FARFALLINE boostopasta