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Morning Music

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Album Review

Starting with an echoed rattle of percussion before moving into a serene performance on the titular instrument, "Harmonium One" begins Mia Doi Todd's first all-instrumental album with an appropriate note — if one is creating morning music, after all, why not aim for a slow, serene feeling of the best sunrise ever? From there, Morning Music lives up to both name and intent as Todd and collaborator Andres Renteria create a batch of equally gentle, contemplative pieces that seem tailor-made for thoughtfully looking out of a window over a cup of good tea or else finding the perfect spot to sit and think while a warm breeze blows. (Which, depending on what one has done the night before, might be just what the doctor ordered.) In fairness, little about Morning Music is unique or remarkable given the past decades of recorded experiments in ambient or contemplative sound — if there are no direct nods, artists like Brian Eno and Harold Budd hang very heavy, as do any number of calmer drone-inspired figures. It's the combination of the various impulses that lends Morning Music much of its charm, though, since at its best many things are brought together so well — the crumbling room-mike edge of "Samai'i," which almost feels like a glitch track produced by Alvin Lucier at its start, or the Laurel Canyon-strum and float of "Emotion," flute adding a pastoral feeling to a never-never land sensibility.


Born: 30 June 1975 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A singer and songwriter whose music embraces a rich variety of cultural and creative influences, Mia Doi Todd was born June 30, 1975 in Los Angeles, California. Todd grew up in a creative household; her father, Michael Todd, was a sculptor of note, and her mother, Kathryn Doi Todd, was an Associate Justice in the California Court of Appeals, as well as a patron of the arts who has helped bring traditional Japanese dance and theater troupes to Los Angeles. As a child, Todd became involved in theater...
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Morning Music, Mia Doi Todd
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