As the sun was setting on my crosstown traffic home, serendipity shone one last beam upon me, illuminating this crazy diamond, whose name I’d eventually learn was “Mai”, but spelled “Maj”, wandering back streets of Shimokita far, far away from her home in The Hauge. Her crimson clothes and fair hair starkly contrasted the muted neighbor tones of Tokyo, and the evident inquisitiveness of her stride and gaze, and the proximity of the encounter to curiously-curated Pianola Records, all of which I was synthesizing in a matter of seconds, gave me no doubt that she was very likely a little enigma worth investigating me.

My suspicions were correct and after the de rigueur icebreaking of “Hello, Stranger” afforded by the phrase “I collect records too!” (which I’ve come to realize is essentially the universal equivalent of “I come in Peace” for those amongst OUR tribe), Maj and I sparked up a long and winding a musical exchange, discussing contemporary classical composers, avant-garde, experimental, and noise music. The American composer Moondog was mentioned because I had suddenly remembered regrettably passing on that 7” of his the last time I visited Pianola (…thinks to self: I wonder if that record is still there?…) Maj also mentioned that she too is a musician and singer and that she will be releasing an album later this year, which, if the fates will have it, you will be able to find in good company among the selection at Pianola Records, or perhaps also at another potentially fitting home at “Like a Fool Records” (a very cool and equally carefully curated record shop to put on your list of place to check out) to which I actually offered Maj just the short backstreet ride as passenger on the ol’ trusty steed. Unfortunately for her, her first motorcycle ride was nothing more than a very unexciting 3-minute backstreet crawl, but I was happy to see her delightedly videoing it nonetheless, reminding me of my own whimsical travels of youth. (When in doubt, always say YES? …maybe.)

Great meeting you, Maj! Hope you enjoy those records and looking forward to, one day, adding yours to my collection.

Joan La Barbara – Reluctant Gypsy
Label: Wizard Records (2) – RVW 2279
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo
Country: US
Released: 1980
Genre: Electronic
Style: Leftfield, Modern Classical, Experimental

Luc Ferrari – Music Promenade / Unheimlich Schön
Label: Recollection GRM – REGRM 022
Format: Vinyl, LP, 45 RPM, Compilation, Stereo
Country: Austria
Released: Mar 2019
Genre: Electronic
Style: Experimental, Musique Concrète

Relly Tarlo – Tracks 2
Label: PRS Baarn – 6818.345 1Y
Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: Netherlands
Released: 1984
Genre: Electronic
Style: Experimental

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