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BIGYUKI's Hybrid Magic

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Wednesday March 07, 2018

From The Score from Lincoln Center

Masayuki Hirano (also known as BIGYUKI), could be today’s real life musical equivalent of a centaur. Similar to the mythological half-beast/half-man creature of ancient Greece, Hirano’s music also operates as a kind of hybrid by fusing together the precision of electronic music practices with the nuances that arise from human interpretation.

But this amalgamated ethos means more than just dialing up a few patches on a synthesizer and calling it a day. BIGYUKI’s latest album, Reaching For Chiron (released on Feb 2 by Likely Records), is the latest example of his superlative skill as a composer and producer. In a recent phone interview in advance of his free show at the David Rubenstein Atrium on March 15, BIGYUKI discussed his newfound production and composition process, the joys of collaborating with other artists, and how he’s grown from his last project.

DMR: Reaching For Chiron does this great job of balancing between electronic music production along with really good live performances. Why did you go to this hybrid method of making a record?

MH: I think it’s unnecessary to fight against something that could benefit us. There are sounds that our ears are accustomed to that we can’t really go back. To me, it’s the drum sound and the bass sound. As technology progressed, those sounds got bigger and bigger. We’re so used to hearing certain sounds that when we don’t hear it, it sounds really empty.

When I was mixing Greek Fire, I really struggled to get the sound I wanted for drums because it was recorded live. We eventually snuck in sounds from a sample and I felt that it was cheating because that’s not really the drummer. It wasn’t necessarily the sound that the drummer who was playing at the moment was hearing.

This time, when I was working on Reaching For Chiron, I started with choosing drum sounds that I liked and started from scratch.

Read the whole interview here