Rather than simply providing pre-recorded compositions, Hirose sought to create a "sound scenery". To achieve this, he participated in the conception of the space and paid particular attention to the accidental combination of sounds by placing the speakers and using a multi-sound source, and following the concept of "sculpturing time through sound".
The composer explains: "sculpturing time through sound means that the time, the space itself, the sound played in it, and the audience all become one sculpture. It is close to the idea of a Japanese tea ceremony where you use all of your 5 (or 6) senses to taste the tea."
TRACE: Sound Design Works 1986-1989 is divided into two parts. "Reflection" is based on an ambient soundscape. It narrates "a sleep that starts with the sound of water droplets at dawn and slowly disappears into darkness" and feels like a natural and soothing progression of Nova. It was played at entrances of spaces, at events, in cafes and bars. "Voice from Past Technology" expresses the dream world born out of that sleep and is based on what Yukata Hirose calls hardcore ambient, environmental music with a noise approach. It was played in museums and science centers.
All in all, TRACE is a crucial addition to every Japanese environmental music fan’s collection, alongside Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass, Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green, Satoshi Ishikawa’s Still Way, Motohiko Hamase’s Notes of Forestry, Inoyamaland’s Danzindan-Pojidon, and Yutaka Hirose’s very own Nova.