Album Review: Ichigo Ichie
Aura Ruddell’s debut album Ichigo Ichie is a journey. Translated from Japanese to one encounter, one opportunity, this album illustrates a wondrous path through different scenes of Ruddell’s life, weaving an auditory collage of unique elements that draw listeners into her world. Considered world music, Ruddell masterfully leads her audience to various places throughout her album; her methods are not limited to the use of exotic instrumentations either, but rely on storytelling as well.
That said, Ichigo Ichie includes a lot of different instrumentations. Ranging from the piano and the trumpet to traditional Japanese instruments, such as the koto and the taiko drums, the involvement of these instruments working with one another like unconventional companions allows Ruddell to sculpt a meaningful world from her memories – a world with messages conveyed not only through her lyrics, but most importantly her feelings. With songs like “Tahara,” the use of the koto alongside the calming sounds of water sets a tranquil picture of the city from memory; however, the atmosphere lingers with a personal connection from Ruddell as she carefully unveils her relationship with the space. “Ganga,” a beautiful and scenic piece, recreates a part of Hindu mythology but with a sprinkle of Ruddell’s own reflections. This song also utilizes storytelling, as she describes a part of Ganga mythology, inevitably allowing her listeners to emerge fully into an exotic, foreign landscape. She adeptly recreates an emotion, sharing connections with personal snippets from her life, while adding density and substance to the piece as a whole.
More than three years in the making, Ichigo Ichie is a beautiful album. With the help of various talents, the personal emotions and pure love put into this album have given it life, allowing it to be more than what it is. It is ultimately a personal memoir of Aura Ruddell.
Physical copies of Ichigo Ichie can be bought on her website, and the entire album can also be streamed on Spotify.
Listen to some tracks now on SoundCloud.
Ichigo Ichie Track Listing:
Animal or Man
If You Love Me
Ash & Dust
Review by Kai-Yao Lan