Eiko Ishibashi and Darin Gray are two multi-instrumentalists who, despite not being well-known, have a wealth of talent that deserves more recognition than it likely gets. Ishibashi is mostly known in Japan both for her own elaborate conceptual solo albums released through Drag City and has worked with Jim O’Rourke and Merzbow. Gray, in turn, has worked with O’Rourke and Loren Connors, Glenn Kotche, and as one half of Chikamorachi with Chris Corsano.

Small details worth noting when listening to their collaborative performance, Ichida. Recorded at Tokyo’s SuperDeluxe in March 2013 and seeing release on the Black Truffle imprint, Ichida is a 39-minute set of at times challenging but beautiful experimental music that spans jazz, classical and electronic. What's most remarkable about though is how two people with a handful of equipment are composing it in real time. Sitting through a performance like this was probably a captivating experience, to say the least.

The music unfolds at an unhurried pace leading to the kind of build-ups that are worth waiting for. 'Part 1' builds slowly from Ishibashi's sparse and gorgeous flute accompanied by Gray plucking seemingly random notes on his bass. From there, a series of loops begin creeping in giving the music an especially gloomy atmosphere that's further heightened by the wailing of Gray's horn.

A flurry of frantic pianos along with Gray's bass come crashing in, disrupting the otherwise uneasy stillness before everything winds down and dissolves in a wash of electronics that carry over into 'Part 2' where the music--colored by futuristic blips of synthesizers, bursts of melancholy brass, and droning loops--settles somewhere between outsider prog and ambient.

Improvisational music can sometimes be difficult to connect with, but Ichida is one of those exceptions that rewards the listener for their patience. For all of its lush and intricate arrangements, it never feels cluttered or overly complex. It's adventurous and immediately accessible, and when it's many layers are peeled away, at the heart of them lies a simple beauty worth taking the time to discover and appreciate.