Press Release from BSX:
That weird and mysterious group from Japan has resurrected a rare work, once thought lost and possibly forgotten, that was created by the legendary composer, Akira Ifukube. Unlike the many ‘a capella’ renditions previously created by Bukimisha, NATIONAL FOREST was too precious a rarity and demanded it be performed by an orchestra with a female choir.
During the mid-1950s, Japan’s Rural Film Association, with financial assistance from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, engaged the maestro to provide a score for a series of three industrial films. These were to be screened at the Asian Forestry Conference and for this, Ifukube was a perfect choice. He had initially chosen Forestry Officer as a career path upon graduation from college. While the course of his life changed to music, his love and respect for the natural beauty of his homeland clearly radiates from this amazing piece of work.
No public performance was ever staged for the three films, which are now believed to be lost. The score, which somehow was never re-recorded or adapted into one of Ifukube’s many concert works, apparently had fallen into obscurity until it was discovered amongst his personal archive by his family after he had passed.
Unwilling to let such a rare work languish in obscurity, Takeo Yahiro and Bukimisha opted to assemble an orchestra as required by the score to at last immortalize this unique find. This release marks the first time the recording has ever been available for sale outside of Japan until now.
For several decades this self-proclaimed ‘secret society’ (whose name roughly translates as “Creepy Company”) has enthralled Japanese audiences with their amazing ‘a capella’ vocal stylings. Over more than 150 CDs released feature Ifukube’s incredible library of classical compositions and complete film scores. The group even performed before the legendary composer at one of his final birthday celebrations.
Dragon’s Domain is proud to offer this remarkable performance, mastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland from the original digital recordings, all supervised and approved by conductor Takeo Yahiro. Exclusive liner notes by scholar Erik Homenick (akiraifukube.org) detail the mysterious history of this wonderful “lost” score, as well as Akira Ifukube’s life and career.