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Display Artist
Eiko Ishibashi
Evil Does Not Exist
Drag City
Catalogue Number
Release Date
June 28, 2024

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Press Release

‘Evil Does Not Exist’ is an expansive new soundtrack undertaking from Eiko Ishibashi, a stellar further display of her ability to explicate the depths of the unspoken in her music. That it is also the soundtrack to the new Ryusuke Hamaguchi feature is marvellous news for all who loved her score for his Oscar-winning 2021 film, ‘Drive My Car’. That her music harmonizes effortlessly with the state of nature as depicted in his film, a nuanced tale of humans’ uneasy efforts to maintain coexistence with the delicate state of the planet, is a further profound achievement. At play here, though, is much more than fantastic new music from a powerful new film - it is evidence of a vital recomposition of the relationship of sound to narrative, and composer to filmmaker.  The impetus for this came when Eiko was asked by overseas promoters for a program of live performances backed by visuals. After some thought, she asked Hamaguchi if he would make something for her to use for this purpose. Says Eiko: “I believe that Mr. Hamaguchi is not only an excellent storyteller, but also creates films with a strong musical quality. When we worked together on ‘Drive My Car’, I could see his dedication to sound, and it was a very enjoyable collaboration. So, I approached Mr. Hamaguchi with the idea.”  Hamaguchi adds: “The core of the production was creating video footage for Eiko’s live performance. I couldn’t develop the film through dialogue as I had done before. That was the most significant difference, and that was also the most intriguing point of this project for me. I felt that the actors existing powerfully and largely independent of Eiko’s music would create the most compelling synergy when eventually combined with her music. As a result, each actor, led by Hitoshi, was truly remarkable, and I was moved on set.”  This led Hamaguchi to develop the script further, with sequences of dialogue. In the end, he made two works: ‘Gift’, a silent film to act as a visual score for a live performance by Ishibashi, and ‘Evil Does Not Exist’, his new narrative feature film, which provided the visual material for the silent film, ‘Gift’, and features Eiko’s music as its soundtrack. This is a fittingly synergistic exchange within their two disciplines, in which the moods and intentions of the music and the film acted in practical conversation: each one a sovereign statement, made possible by its relationship with the other.  Eiko’s compositions are scored for violin, cello, guitar, drums and keyboards. Her longtime partner, Jim O’Rourke, played the guitar and mixed and mastered the recordings when they were done, eliciting further the necessary nuances of atmosphere and mood that one would expect in one film, much less two.  ‘Evil Does Not Exist’ was released last year in Japan and Europe, and has already won several prestigious awards (Best Picture - BFI London Film Festival, Asian Film Awards, Grand Jury Prize - Venice Film Festival, Best Score - Asian Film Awards). In the United States, the film debuts nationally in May 2024, distributed by Janus Films / Sideshow.  Encountering Eiko’s music in the film onscreen or playing on the home stereo, the experience is equally overwhelming, making us happy that ‘Evil Does Not Exist’ actually exists.

Digital Tracklist

  1. 1 Evil Does Not Exist V.2 5:59
  2. 2 Hana V.2 7:33
  3. 3 Fether 2:25
  4. 4 Smoke 4:31
  5. 5 Deer Blood 5:48
  6. 6 Missing V.2 12:04
  7. 7 Evil Does Not Exist 5:28

Eiko Ishibashi

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Drag City

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