Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM


In winter, we build cathedrals | “a structure” by Hinako Omori


Hinako Omori’s latest album, stillness, softness…, lives among whispers. With gentle brushings and midnight breezes, its muted grandeur is at home. 

As winter seeps into Michigan, stillness, softness… only builds its sonic cathedral higher and wider. Increasingly airy, increasingly-complex rooms and staircases emerge from it with each equinox-approaching day. As snow trickles down from above and as ice coats the East Lansing cityscape, this album will be with me daily. 

One of my favorite tracks from stillness, softness… is “a structure.” Its hypnotic, oscillating synth mirrors snow mounds that will soon line each sidewalk and each ice-spotted, cracking road. 

Omori’s whispers breathe comfort and warmth into the track’s open, ever-expanding space. This room in stillness, softness…’s cathedral holds a modest, well-stocked hearth — a hearth which fuels the room’s growth and lays down intricate rugs for its own homeliness. 

This room, like all other rooms on the album, is airy yet complex. One can imagine its bounds being nonexistent, its gray bricks moving outward endlessly. It is a simple room, but also a labyrinth — not because of any twists and turns, but because of its unknown ends. One cannot see its walls; they can only see its floor and its ceiling. 

The candles which hang from its ceiling flicker together, swinging ever-so-slightly with wooded, washed-out chandeliers. As the listener walks into “a structure,” these candles gravitate toward them. They desire to circle the listeners’ cold hands, their shivering frames. 

Here, Omori’s whispers flare up, winding about the listener and warming their skin. In this warmth, the cathedral becomes home. One cannot help but lay down to face “a structure” and its hearth; one cannot help but close their eyes.

This coming winter will shroud our hearts in dark days, but for each dark day, there will be a beautiful winter sunset breaking open its gates. These skies will explode in crimsons and purples, and they will shine in overwhelming luster off the grayscale cathedral that is stillness, softness…. 

Watch these sunsets with those you care about. Watch them and think of the cathedral that has been built before you that day. Think of the rooms left ungenerated, the rooms that need a hearth or rug to call a friend. Think of “a structure” and leave that day overwhelmed with appreciation for the mere opportunity to grow — even in a season which suppresses growth’s kindest conditions.

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About the Contributor
Mike Merucci, Entertainment Editor/Host of The Afterglow
Mike Merucci (he/him) is a creative advertising major here at Michigan State, and with a Dr. Pepper always in hand, he leads the Impact's music journalism efforts. His musical loves are Death Grips, Tim Hecker and Carly Rae Jepsen; these loves only build up to his greatest love of all, the Buffalo Bills. "I'm smoking cigarettes in the shower, when they get wet I just light another." - Death Grips

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