Hinako Omori shares a diary of her collaboration with London Contemporary Orchestra at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room

Japan-born, London-based contemporary artist Hinako Omori is internationally renowned for her unique soundscapes and layered synth usage. Having trained as a sound engineer, Omori first created her own music when remixing one of Hannah Peel’s tracks from the album Mary Casio, spurring the London-based artist on the produce more of her own work. Creating her own musical journeys, Omori combines ambientspace-synths with field recordings and her very own ethereal vocals. Thematically, her music is influenced by the idea of space and infinity — floating into separate universes with everything being transparent and lucid. Over the years, Omori has released a plethora of dynamic records, including her 2019 debut EP Auraelia — five tracks delving into a hard drive of instrumental demos, lyrics and field recordings — further demonstrating Omori’s innate ability to craft beautiful layered sonic soundscapes.

Recently, Omori dropped her acclaimed LP a journey… via the esteemed Houndstooth imprint, bringing together therapeutic frequencies, forest bathing and binaural sound to create an immersive cartography of the mind in ambient electronics. A composer who thinks deeply about her music, Omori’s latest album sits within a rich lineage of electronic musicians who have looked to music for its healing properties from Venezuelan musician Miguel Noya to Pauline Anna Strom’s ambient soundscapes; Pauline Oliveros’ deep listening meditations and the augmented field recordings of Irv Teibel’s Environments series.

In celebration of her new release, Omori marked the milestone moment with a special live show at the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room. Performing her album in full, the multi-talented artist was also joined on stage by the London Contemporary Orchestra — one of the UK’s most innovative and respected ensembles — together bringing Omori’s rich digital worlds to life. In light of this occasion, we are able to showcase some behind the scenes images and a diary of Omori’s experience throughout the event…

“I had a wonderful opportunity recently to collaborate with the incredible London Contemporary Orchestra for Southbank Centre’s Purcell Sessions. By some beautiful synchronicity, the date of the show was the day after the release of ‘a journey…’, so I thought it could be a lovely way to celebrate the launch and play the album in its entirety with a string quartet and harp. I was very lucky that my wonderful friends Clare Uchima and Thomas Harrington Rawle were also up for joining – Clare to lead a guided meditation at the beginning of the show, and Thomas creating and live-mixing visuals.”

Thursday Night, 17.03.22.

Finishing the final touches to the scores and printing them ready for rehearsals on Friday – I’m very much looking forward to it!

Friday Night, 18.03.22.

First rehearsal with Mandhira, Nadine, Ronan, Sergio and Vicky – we have 3 hours together before show day tomorrow. So wonderful to meet everyone and play through the album together for the first time! Ronan and Sergio very kindly stepped in last minute for the rehearsal run-through. It feels magical being in the room with everyone and hearing the orchestrations come to life!

Saturday Morning, 19.03.22.

Setting up the stage at Purcell Rooms. Look at this incredible Steinway piano – what a dream…! Cressy at Southbank Centre rigged some stunning pendant lights and set the scene so beautifully

Saturday Morning.

Hanging up the gorgeous dresses that Amy and Evan at WED Studio very kindly lent us for the show in the dressing room…

Saturday Afternoon.

Magical Clare arrives! Soundchecking the guided meditation and synth drones together. Feel very lucky to be performing together – we’ve known each other for years and collaborate together on a project called Hibiki, but this is the first time we’re performing together – very excited!

Saturday Afternoon.

The wonderful Vicky arrives – I’m entranced by her beautiful playing of this magical instrument…

Photo: Clare Uchima

Saturday Afternoon.

Practising on the Steinway — I’m obsessed…

Photo: Bishi Bhattacharya

Saturday Night.

We had 3 hours of rehearsals on the show day with the LCO – Jordan and Stephanie joined us today and we had a run through with the string quartet and harp. Everyone’s gorgeous playing gave me goosebumps – I had to pinch myself multiple times that this was happening!

Saturday Night.

Then we went straight into the show, which just flew by – I had such a lovely time, and was so immersed in this beautiful environment that everyone created that I totally forgot about my nerves.

It’s been such an incredible whirlwind of a day – I’m so grateful and honoured to be playing with these magical and mega-talented souls, and enjoyed every single minute. Stunning visuals behind us created and live-mixed by the wondrous Thomas Harrington Rawle (you can find more of his mind-blowing work here).

I’m deeply grateful for this opportunity – infinite thank you’s and endless gratitude to:

Clare Uchima (Guided Meditation)
Thomas Harrington-Rawle (Visuals)
Mandhira De Saram (Violin I)
Nadine Nagen (Violin II)
Jordan Bergmans (Viola)
Stephanie Tress (Cello)
Vicky Lester (Harp)
Ronan MacManus (Viola Rehearsals)
Sergio Serra (Cello Rehearsals)
Simone Carty (Videographer)
Amy & Evan at WED Studio

Lexy Morvaridi, Amélie Carbonelle, Jasper Watkins, Mick Shenton, Cressy Klaces, Al, Darren and everyone at Southbank Centre.

Robert Ames and Saloni Thakkar (London Contemporary Orchestra).

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