Generic City is an almost perfect execution of collaborating. Performing together are two reputable acts in ambient and experimental music, consisting of Japanese composer and multi-instrumentalist Yui Onodera as well as the prolific Californian duo of Celer. With both collaborators being immensely talented in their own rights, the pooling of their separate ideas has equated to four movements of boundlessly stellar exploration.
These 47 minutes represent a combination of two cultures and lifestyles from each of their perspectives. Yui Onodera incorporates recordings of Japans variety of customs: children playing, temple bells, voices in prayer to Buddha, among many others. Celer present sounds from the metropolitan lifestyle of Los Angeles: cars passing, conversations between people in restaurants, pedestrians within a plethora of other sounds. All of this incorporated found sound from their locations is intertwined with the use of musical instruments as well; guitar, electronics, violin, cello, and even more unconventional instrumentation like theremin and ocarina.
Rather than accenting the music itself, the field recordings are the main attraction on Generic City. Surely, the instrumentation and the ecoacoustics are in constant rotation– however the music is exceptionally minimal, with resonating hums that manifest within an attentive listen. This leaves all heads turned toward the atmospheres of each location, which bleed into one another seamlessly and allow the urban theme of these four pieces to come full circle.
Onodera and Celer acknowledge that both settings aren’t meant to be seen as two unrelated parts of the world, or a side-by-side comparison of the two cultures– but make note that though geographically distanced, these concepts are connected by nature. Generic City alludes to the idea that musicians are subconsciously influenced by their environment, and the way that the artists’ music blends with nature strongly represents this idea.