Patrick Shiroishi to release new solo album, I Was Too Young To Hear Silence, in November

Photo: Vincent Guilbert

There’s wonderful news from Patrick Shiroishi who has announced the release of a new solo album. Entitled I Was Too Young To Hear Silence, it follows Hidemi, which was one of our 15 Album Picks of 2021, and arrives on November 10th through American Dreams. For his upcoming album, the Los Angeles-based saxophonist and composer explored Japanese free improvised, solo saxophone records. “There’s this one I found by Masayoshi Urabe, he recorded this fifty-minute or hour-long solo saxophone thing. I downloaded it, and I was skipping through it to see what it was like, and every time I clicked, it was just nothing. It was silence. And I was like…did I download the wrong thing? And then, eventually, I had time to sit and listen to it. And that really opened things up.”

An album of free improvised solo saxophone, I Was Too Young To Hear Silence was recorded in a reverberant space in a single take, allowing for the sax and silence to collude. Speaking about it, Shiroishi mentions Ma, the Japanese concept of space or negative space. “The title [I was too young to hear silence] kind of refers to when I was younger…I would fill all the space with as many notes and as loud of volume as I could,” Shiroishi explained. “Not saying that there’s any wrong way to play, but for me, after a while, I was confused with what I was trying to say.”

Shiroishi has unveiled the album’s gripping lead single, “how will we get back to life again?”, along with a music video by Nancy Kwon. Here it is.


Patrick Shiroishi unleashes video for new single ‘To Kill A Wind-Up Bird’

Patrick Shiroishi has a new solo album on the way, Hidemi, and we were instantly and utterly taken by the first single, the compelling ‘Tule Lake Like Yesterday’, when it emerged last month. A multilayered woodwind record, Hidemi was written and performed in its entirety by Shiroishi and is a tribute to his grandfather and his personal experience after getting out of Japanese-American concentration camps.
With just over a month to go until the album drops, the Japanese American saxophonist and composer is enticing us again with a new single, ‘To Kill A Wind-Up Bird’, a gorgeous and exhilarating track we cannot stop listening to. The song comes with a video made by visual artist Dylan Pecora, who had this to say about it:

“It’s a gentle attempt at a Looney Tunes/Carl Stalling type of thing, where we’re getting a 1-to-1 fraudulent representation on screen of the sounds we hear. A tiptoeing porky pig sounds like a xylophone ascending. A puppet shaking an ancient bowl sounds like this.”

Watch the video for ‘To Kill A Wind-Up Bird’ below and watch out for the release of Hidemi on October 29th through American Dreams.

New Patrick Shiroishi’s solo album, Hidemi, out in October

Photo: Kristin Cofer

There’s an exciting new release from American Dreams just around the corner. Come October 29th, Japanese American saxophonist and composer Patrick Shiroishi will release a new solo album titled Hidemi. In his previous record, Shiroishi explored themes of everyday life in Japanese-American concentration camps. “The concentration camps that Japanese Americans had to go through has been a major part of my work for the last couple of years,” he remarks. Named after his grandfather, Hidemi Pat Shiroishi, Hidemi is dedicated to him and focus on his personal experience after getting out of Japanese-American concentration camps.

A multilayered woodwind effort, Hidemi was written and performed in its entirety by Shiroishi, who recorded it mostly recorded in one take. The album, describes the press release, “brings the listener through tension and release, showcasing something unfiltered, beautiful, and ultimately hopeful, a testament to perseverance and grace.”

The compelling ‘Tule Lake Like Yesterday’ is the first single to emerge from the upcoming record. Speaking about it, Shiroishi comments:

“When I hear the phrase ‘I remember it like yesterday,’ I think of some sort of positive celebration or great time with friends/family. However, in this instance, it is through an opposite angle; a life changing event filled with uncertainty, chaos and hope slipping away. After my grandparents were imprisoned at Tule Lake and released four years later, that time stuck with them for the rest of their lives…even when i asked my grandmother to tell me about the time spent there when i was 16, 57 years after she was released, her affect totally changed as she shook her head and left it at that.”

Listen to ‘Tule Lake Like Yesterday’ below.