Mari Tamaki composer

Sirius Quartet

Release Date: January 5, 2024
Catalog #: NV6588
Format: Digital
21st Century
String Quartet

RETROGRADE by Sirius Quartet is a collection of innovative string works from Mari Tamaki. Tamaki, a Japanese cellist, composer, performer, and producer, conjures up drama through intense dissonances and delicate tonal harmonies throughout. The result is elegant and dynamic, drawing on Tamaki’s classical, improvisational, and avant-garde influences. The album features works like parallel realities, an ode to a cross-dimensional world that quite possibly exists. It also includes sneak into the Q-city, named after a work by Japanese painter Iori Mamiya depicting a psychedelic journey into one’s own mind. Contrary to what its title suggests, RETROGRADE is forward-thinking and intellectually captivating.


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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 against the river stream Mari Tamaki Sirius Quartet | Fung Chern Hwei, violin; Gregor Huebner, violin; Sunjay Jayaram, viola; Jeremy Harman, cello 8:09
02 parallel realities Mari Tamaki Sirius Quartet | Fung Chern Hwei, violin; Gregor Huebner, violin; Sunjay Jayaram, viola; Jeremy Harman, cello 8:36
03 sneak into the Q-city Mari Tamaki Sirius Quartet | Fung Chern Hwei, violin; Gregor Huebner, violin; Ron Lawrence, viola; Jeremy Harman, cello 7:31

Cover Painting Iori Mamiya

against the river stream, parallel realities
Recorded June 6-7, 2023 at Oktaven Audio in Mount Vernon NY
Session Producer Brad Michel
Session Engineer Edwin Huet

sneak into the Q-city
Recorded March 5, 2019 at Oktaven Audio in Mt Vernon NY
Session Producer Brad Michel
Session Engineer Ryan Streber
Assisstant Engineer Teng Chen
Recording Sessions Manager Levi Brown
Recording Sessions Assistant Emma Terrell

Editing, Mixing & Mastering Brad Michel

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Production Manager Martina Watzková
Production Assistant Adam Lysák

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Chelsea Kornago

Artist Information

Mari Tamaki


Mari Tamaki is a Japanese cellist, composer, performer, and producer whose great improvisational and compositional skills create fascinating music, fluidly crossing genres both classical and contemporary. As a composer, she has successfully created works in a variety of styles, including classical music, progressive rock, free improvisation, avant-garde, and collaboration with the Butoh dance form. In her pieces, she skillfully transitions from tense dissonance to complete harmonization by the end. She employs a lyrical style while emphasizing dissonance. 

Sirius Quartet


Internationally acclaimed veterans of contemporary music, Sirius Quartet combines exhilarating repertoire with unequalled improvisational fire. These conservatory-trained performer-composers shine with precision, soul and a raw energy rarely witnessed on stage, championing a forward-thinking, genre-defying approach that makes labels like 'New Music' sound tame.


Sawanobori is a thrilling sport in which you climb a waterfall-like river that flows over the steep cliff of a mountain slope. It’s unique to Japan because there are many places like this in the country’s mountains.

Challengers climb the cascading cliffs and drenched their way to the top.

It’s dangerous, but climbing the cliff in the natural showers of waterfalls will give challengers a sense of great accomplishment. My friend, a Sawanobori expert, and their experiences inspired me to compose my piece.

— Mari Tamaki

parallel realities lies in the idea that there are infinite really existing at the same time in parallel in addition to the reality we experience now. It’s sometimes like a dream or an illusion. Even I get confused as they intervene with my own consciousness. I made this piece about a parallel world that — maybe — exists.

— Mari Tamaki

This work is inspired by the Japanese painter Iori Mamiya’s piece entitled sneak into the Q City. He created the art based on the concept of his “mind-trip,” in which his mind travels to his brain by entering via his eyes and looking around in his brain. His thoughts and memories are completely entangled with each other in his brain.

Mamiya says that the letter Q has three meanings; Quest, Quantum, and Quiet, and it’s expressed in this piece.

sneak into the Q City skillfully transitions from a feeling of tense dissonance to one of complete harmony in the end. I employ a lyrical style, highlighting dissonant chords.

— Mari Tamaki