Mamoru Fujieda: Patterns of Plants | Sarah Cahill, piano

1–3 The Twenty-First Collection, Patterns A, B & D | 4 The Fifth Collection, Pattern D | 5–8 The Twelfth Collection | 9–10 The Seventh Collection, Patterns A–B | 11–14 The Nineteenth Collection (“The Olive Branch Speaks”) | 15–16 The Twentieth Collection (“Begonia in My Life”)

1–2 Piano Selection II, Patterns A (“Servus Paphiopedilum”) & D (“Euphlsia puella parva est”) | 3–4 The Thirteenth Collection, Patterns B & D | 5–6 The Fifteenth Collection, Patterns B–C | 7–8 The Eleventh Collection, Patterns A & D | 9–12 The Sixteenth Collection | 13–16 Piano Selection I


Patterns of Plants, composed between 1996 and 2011, is Mamoru Fujieda’s magnum opus. Working with the “Plantron,” a device created by botanist and artist Yūji Dōgane, the composer measured electrical fluctuations on the surface of the leaves of plants, and converted the data thus obtained into sound using the Max programming system. Through a process he has likened to searching “in a deep forest” for “beautiful flowers and rare butterflies,” he listened for musical patterns, and used them as the basis for composing short pieces, which he then grouped into collections reminiscent of Baroque dance suites.

The resulting music is varied and lovely. But it is more than ornamental; as pianist Sarah Cahill notes, these are pieces of great depth and expressivity.

The Patterns have been arranged for a variety of instruments and ensembles. This two-disc set is the first solo piano recording of this music to be made available outside Japan, and features the “unabashedly gorgeous” The Olive Branch Speaks, commissioned by the pianist for her A Sweeter Music project.

This lavishly packaged set is accompanied by essays from both the composer and performer.


Sarah plays Pattern B from the Seventh Collection at the Berkeley Arts Festival performance space.

Sarah plays Pattern D from the 19th Collection at Old First Concerts in San Francisco.


"Music that has an uncanny feeling of belonging to every place and epoch, yet having no identifiable national or temporal features. It is truly strange and beautiful. Cahill plays it with the attention to detail and musicality that one usually hears pianists bring to Schubert." —George Grella, The Big City (Best New Music Albums 2014)

"Contemplative, melodically luxurious, quietly commanding." —San Jose Mercury News (Best of 2014: Top 10 classical discs)

"Sarah Cahill plays with unaffected subtlety and sensitivity. 10/10." —Classics Today

"A mesmerizing performance, which captures both the delicacy and sincerity of these works." —Jeffrey Zeigler, Q2 Music

"Delicate miniatures that unfold quietly and calmly." —The New York Times

"A collection of works as calming as it is stimulating." —The Wire

"Sarah Cahill expertly interprets and gives a clear voice to Fujieda's beautiful work." —I Care If You Listen