PRICE: $25.50
Obscure Tape Music of Japan Vol. 19: Kumo no Ito (The Spider's Thread)


"Kumo no Ito" (trans. "The Spider's Thread): "In 1977 I started the project of a musical piece for a female narrator and 4-channel electronic sounds using the text of the well-known Akutagawa novel. I worked with a hand-made analog synthesizer which had been installed two years before in my home studio in Tokyo. Needless to say, the editing was done without digital machines. I worked with the recorded tapes together with scissors and splicing tape. It was the resonance-adding apparatus that I operated which was very important as a sound effect. The part for the synthesizer was made manually, recording the short fragments and collecting them onto one tape through several tape recorders. My studio was full of a lot of tape fragments. I think the situation in those days was stupendous but I didn't feel distress. The manual procedure was usual at that time, so I could rather enjoy the process of advancing towards the goal step by step. After the long term of manual work, I completed a 4-channel 10" tape of 7mm width which should be played 38cm per second. The original novel Kumo no Ito was translated into several languages. I have worked with the text narrations in German, French and Italian etc., but now I have only the German version recording." --Hiroaki Minami (Reading: Setsuko Kawauchi).

"Chaos": "In 1966 I composed a piece of concrète music titled "Taiyo-fu" (trans. "Solar Wind"). It was to be staged as a performance by the Tokyo-based Mieko Fuji Dance Company. The dance performance participated in the National Arts Festival of Agency for Cultural Affairs. The stage concept was to create a new modern dance which suggested that the sun would be perpetually pouring all the energy of light, heat and wind to the earth. I made the music by manipulating the materials of the recorded instrumental sounds, not of the concrète sounds. With the idea of applying the editing and modifying methods of concrète music to the recorded instrumental sounds, I had started with composing a lot of fragments, and then I played them and recorded in our recording studio. Some students from the Tokyo College of Music, where I worked as a teacher, helped me as musical performers. The recorded sound materials were operated in my private studio. Manipulating several tape recorders, I tried to produce the sounds that could not be identified as the original instruments. Thus I created the 70-minute stage music. Fifty years have passed and the digital technology is now easy to access. But I remember the process of my manual operation and I can't wipe the commitment to the music of "Taiyo-fu." Nevertheless, I think the music is too monotonous to be appreciated without dance. So I re-constructed a piece with the sound materials of "Taiyo-fu." The basic idea concerns the cosmic world and the title of the piece is "Chaos." This "Chaos" comes from my illusions about the primordial universe. --Hiroaki Minami; English translated by Mimako Mizuno. Cardboard paper gatefold sleeve. Newly-written liner notes by the artist in Japanese & English. Limited edition of 300 copies.