Pause now to ponder the beauty that exists in the world. Ponder not the many manufactured facsimiles of beauty that are forced upon us by the cultural fascism beloved of mass production but ponder instead the real thing. Ponder the music of Ai Aso.
Her album, “Lone”, is by no means an epic album and you would not reasonably expect that of one woman, her guitar and the occasional keyboard anyway. Similarly, the remarkable economy that she shows in terms of chords and tempos would prove a limitation for a lesser artist. Not, however, Ai Aso.
The sheer fragility of her voice in this live recording simply entrances. I speak not a word of Japanese but such was the transcendent nature of her performance that I felt that I was listening to her words in a language that I could understand and, as the acoustic dignity of “Kamitsure No Ookina Mizutamari” faded into the, by comparison, strident “Most Children Do”, an emotional connection was established with what is often mistaken for my heart.
Thinking on this some more, the songs on this album have the appearance, on initial connection anyway, of lullabies but there is nonetheless a suggestion of an underlying torment driving them on down the path to the Garden of Eden and Ai Aso, whilst undoubtedly a purveyor of beauty and tranquillity, also portrays those darker motivations that drive us all towards our destiny.