A call for peace is what the world needs to hear right now. War takes away millions of innocent lives that are not even involved in the conflict at the first place. It is painful. But, how can we tell stories about suffering? There have been movies and books with anti-war messages. And yet, music seems to be the art form that has a more visceral, direct reaction upon its listener. Music allows its own language to speak, to create images that amplify the words being sung. It even has the power to not use words at all to convey feelings and ideas. That is why music is universal, in a certain sense.
I Am Yuki: The Hiroshima Project is an anti-war concept album by English musician Diego Philips. Following the relase of “Sentimental Song”, this latest album it tells the tragic events of the bombings of Hiroshima during World War II through the eyes of a seven year old boy to deliver a powerful message about war. Indeed, I Am Yuki is an album full of emotional rawness, but it is in no way morbid or exploitative: Philips treats war, pain and death with a sensibility that is rare to see nowadays.
The album had its inception way back in 2004, when Diego Philips visited Japan for the first time. In 2007, he visited once again to study at a Japanese high school, and once again in 2013 for the holidays. During this trip, he visited Hiroshima and the museum for peace, by which he was deeply moved. In 2018, the first version of The Hiroshima Project was created with musicians Vincent Cudet on guitar, Michael Jones on bass and Magda Skyllback on vocals. After much acclaim, they attracted the attention of producer James Yates, who proposed them to refine the project at his studio in Newhaven, mastered by Guy Davie of Electric Mastering in London. As the project grew, more people were attached to the project, such as Fran Rohrbasser who created the artwork for the project, Laura Bernard, who directed a short making of of the project, Chikara Ono, who served as consultant and South-African film director Jared Figgins, who directed a visualizer for the album.
What makes I Am Yuki different from other forms of art that tackle similar themes, is that instead of focusing on the bombing of Hiroshima itself, the album centers around the daily live of Yuki and his family the day before the attack. Followed by an ethereal prelude, “Come Home Yuki” and “My Room” focus on the inner thoughts of the young boy: his family, his friends and the state of the world. “Come Home Yuki” has a playful tone that reflects the innocence of the title character as he asks himself why the sky is blue. And yet, there are hints of something going on behind the scenes, something that Yuki cannot comprehend as he wonders why his parents are constantly worried. “My Room” is a ballad where Yuki asks what would happen if he were to disappear from one day to another, as he thinks about his family and friends. It is a peaceful track that becomes a stream of emotions as Yuki enters his dreams. “Goodnight Little Boy” is sang by Magda Skyllback. A touching song in which Yuki’s mother Sugako thinks about the future of her son. A track that serves as an unknowing goodbye, with haunting lyrics and images that forsee the future. The album closes with the three part “The End of the World”. The first part retakes the perspective of Yuki, in which he assures that today will be a perfect day. The second part is an track that powerfully portrays the explosion of the bomb without any words at all. What first starts as an upbeat track slowly gains tempo and distortion, as each instrument loses its beats and start sounding as if they were screaming. Little by little, each one of them die out. “The End of the World (Part 2)” is track that relies on the senses to create a feeling of dread that is difficult to put into words. The album closes with “The End of the World (Part 2)”, a masterful song in which someone, maybe Yuki’s ghost, tells us the fate of the young boy. A voice that travels through time to reach us, warning us about the dangers of war and the loss of live it brings to us, even the lives of children are in the line.
I Am Yuki: The Hiroshima Project is raw, emotional and powerful. Diego Philips and all the people behind the project offer a glimpse of the terrible fate war brings to the world. It is an urgent album that reflect themes that unfortunately are relevant today. I Am Yuki: The Hiroshima Project portrays a hard reality to expose a message that must be heard. More than a concept album, it is a call for peace.
Don’t forget to support this project and to follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Spotify. You can also check out his official website. If you enjoy his music and are able to provide monetary support, you might consider downloading it on Bandcamp.
It also helps to stream and share her music; you can obviously find it in the following Playlists: Less Than 1,000 Followers, Indie Only, Alterindie State Of Mind, Chill – Folk – Acoustic, Female Rising Stars, Take It Easy, and 12 New Songs This Week.
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This coverage was created via MusoSoup #Sustainablecurator https://www.musosoup.com/sustainable-curator
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