Interviews Music

One Track Mind: Hinako Omori

The classical pianist and synthesiser obsessive discusses the timeless beauty of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Energy Flow

The premise of One Track Mind is pretty simple: I ask artists to pick one track that means a lot to them – either something they’ve discovered recently, something that’s been with them for years, or one that reminds them of a specific time in their life or career – and tell me what makes it so special to them. I get to talk to the artists I love, and they get to talk about the artists they love. Love all round!

Born in Yokohama, Japan, Hinako Omori moved to the UK when she was three years old and currently lives in London. She began her musical path learning classical piano, later training as a sound engineer, and has since moved into working with analogue synths. Previous to releasing her own solo material she toured with and played on records by a raft of critically acclaimed musicians including Kae Tempest, Georgia, and Ed O’Brian. However it is her experience in sound engineering that form the foundation for her new album a journey…, a deeply meditative electronic project that encompasses binaural field recordings, analogue synthesisers and augmented vocals.

For her One Track Mind selection, Omori has picked a track by arguably Japan’s most celebrated and influential musician of all time, Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Hinako Omori on Ryuichi Sakamoto – Energy Flow

“I remember this song more clearly than the memory of where I was or what was happening at the time – almost in a way that I can feel it in my consciousness ever since I can remember! Having looked up the CD, the album BTTB for piano solo and duet which included this piece was released in 1999, when I was 10 years old – so maybe it’s my earliest memory of listening to a piece of music on loop, so much to the point that it’s become ingrained in my system…

“Everything about this piece – the way the notes, each full of emotion, flow effortlessly like a continuous stream of water with its gentle ebbs and flows – is so elegant, timeless, delicate and beautiful.

“I feel very lucky to have grown up listening to Sakamoto san’s music in the house thanks to my parents, and we also had the sheet music for Energy Flow at home. Now that I think about it, I can picture the upright piano in my grandma’s flat and practising it over and over!

“I think being able to absorb the notes and performance directions of how the composer had intended it to be played is such a lovely way to connect to music, and I’m so grateful to my parents for introducing me to this beautiful piece and to the magical work of Sakamoto san.”

Hinako Omori a journey… is out now