Wool Strings is the delicate, minimal, dreamy and über organic project of japanese musician Ryohei Ameda.
Ryohei started recording his songs when he was a teenager and after being part of a few bands, he decided to release his solo work into the world.
He releases his music via Sea Song, his own label. And also appeared - and here's where I got to know his work - on A Good Crop - Eardrums Autumn Compilation, from 2008 and released via Eardrums.
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He creates instrumental landscapes, and it's impossible not to think about cherry blossoms, bamboo forests and calm streams hidden in the woods, somewhere in Japan's countryside. Not that his music sounds traditional or something; but it has an acoustic and - as I said before - organic atmosphere.
(Our Spring To Their Summer is a free ep from 2010 available on bandcamp). To learn more about his latest work - after blue - released last February, see the last question of our interview.
01. First of all: who's Wool Strings? And where does the project name come from?
Wool Strings is a solo project by Ryohei Ameda from Kanagawa, Japan.
I didn't give a deep meaning to the name, and I only like the sound of words.
However, I was a member of the band called sheepsleeps once, and I like the novel "A wild sheep chase" by Haruki Murakami, and my sign of the Chinese zodiac is Sheep...
By a curious turn of fate, I'm related to Sheep and Wool.
02. What's your first musical memory?
I liked video games in my childhood, so also liked some theme songs of my favorite games. Sometimes I created and enjoyed my imaginary original game, which actually involved music.
I often hummed the game music which I made.
03. I'd say your music is a mixture of ambient music, lo fi and indiepop. All very soothing, relaxing… even contemplative. I'd say it could be the soundtrack someone would listen to when feeling like observing life from a corner. What are your influences (not only in music)?
I was into Beach Boys as a junior high school student.
I thought that I would like to form the band like Pastels as a high school student.
I met with the record of Joao Gilberto and found out that we can create the private musical world with the simple stuff - as his voice and guitar - at the same period.
Everyday I appreciate many wonderful music.
I also appreciate the natural world that brings me imaginative sounds such as the rain.
Mostly I'm inspired by a phrase of the guitar which I play very casually.
When I find something fun in the phrase, I put a phrase on the phrase continuously.
05. You've been collaborating with EardrumsPop for some time now. Talk a bit about that relationship…
Knut from Eardrums found Wool Strings on Myspace in summer of 2008.
In that year, I began Wool Strings.
Since I made music very individually, I was surprised and glad that a Norwegian (very far from Japan) had got interested in my music.
I think Eardrums Pop is releasing very important indie music.
06. Best time and place to listen to your music?
...probably quiet places are better.
I hope it is a fine day.
07. You are from Kanagawa, Japan. Any independent artists or bands that you can recommend from there?
Sorry at not Kanagawa but Tokyo (next to Kanagawa), I recommend very independent band called Sheep (my fatal animal!) from Tokyo.
I like their DIY spirit so much.
08. Anything else you feel like saying?
Wool Strings released a new album called "after blue" from Sea Song Label this February, three years after the last album.
I expressed the flow of a quiet day in this album.
It begins in rainy morning.
After walking around the hazy lake, napping on the hill, lying under the dark stars, it ends in a dream near by the sunrise.
I hope you enjoy the day!