With Sun/Moon, Somei Satoh speaks with the ancient, distinct voice of Buddha, with enough melodramatic romanticism to stir the emotions of even the most Western ears. Perhaps less cinematic than his previous album, Toward the Night, but no less passionate in tone, with gorgeous, rich dialogue between shakuhachi and koto that circulates between whispers, cries, gasps, and deep contemplation. The opening piece, "Kougetsu," is the sound of a rock garden minding its own business, a dragonfly dreaming restlessly amongst the bamboo. "Sanyou" follows in much the same way, in an expression of (as the composer puts it) "the purity of the early morning air." Shin Miyashita plucks his 17-string koto with patience, reverence, and in perfect symbiosis with Akikazu Nakamura, a stoic virtuoso on the shakuhachi.
Based on a centuries-old traditional Japanese fairy tale, a country couple finds a baby girl in some bamboo and raises her as their own daughter. Not the same as the original tale, though, in which the girl was a fairy from the moon and was finally taken home. Instead, the film ends with the girl taken home by a spaceship.