Miki Yui

1971, JP Website
Concert - Bonn Hoeren, 2014. © Miki Yui. Photo © Keisuke Matsuura
Ever, 2002. © Kazuyuki Onouchi

Musician, composer and visual artist Miki Yui blends field recordings with pure electronic sounds in her compositions. She is drawn to small sounds, to quiet sounds at the limits of audibility, of perception: for example, a plant growing, a plant moving, a plant sending signals to other plants.

The stories of resonance and co-existence that her music tells are enriched by the artist’s practice of deep listening. Influenced by experimental composer Pauline Oliveros’s quest to wholly connect with the acoustic environment and all that inhabits it, Miki Yui explores the relationship between all sounds, whether intentional or unintentional, natural or technological, music or noise. Plant Music was inspired by an early drawing by Joseph Beuys: Pflanze (Plant, 1947).

The minimalistic electroacoustic composition derived from imagining the fragile sounds of germination, of the communication between microorganisms, of the rays of sunlight warming the soil, of moisture entering the roots, of leaves unfurling at dawn.  

Miki Yui is an artist and composer from Japan. Her interdisciplinary work is born from listening. Rather than focussing on singular events, her work attempts to listen to the whole, to the resonance, to the interference between different sounds. According to Yui, we are hearing continuously. Sounds from the environment tell us where we are, what kind of culture we live in, these are factors which shape us, influencing our thoughts and behaviour.

Through sound, Yui’s work explores the grey areas of our perception and imagination, questioning how we can resonate with our surroundings. By capturing the unique quality of each sounds, from a delicate hiss to a distant hum, and using electronic sounds and field recordings, Yui transforms these sounds into music pieces or audio installations so that they become subtle references to existents.


Miki Yui
Plant Music   

Four-channel sound installation, 29.00 min.   

Courtesy of the artist and made possible with the support of beuys 2021. 100 years of joseph beuys, a project of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia