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Obscure Tape Music of Japan Vol. 17: Funakakushi


"Funakakushi" [1]: This electronic work was composed for the opening ceremony of the hotel "Funakakushi-en" in Kagawa prefecture in 1963. It was realized as a sound installation and used many speakers inside a built-in stone sculpture. They were designed by sculptor Mitsu-aki Sora (b. 1933) and were arranged here and there in the main garden of the hotel. The sound was made from a modified Japanese traditional instrument, biwa, as well as from a sea wave sound [2]. The engineer Junosuke Okuyama [3] assisted on electronic devices. "Life Music (tape version)": "Life Music" was originally composed as a tape version in 1964. After that, this work was played in another version with an electronic modified orchestra (contact microphones were placed on all the instruments in the orchestra) [4] at Nissei Theatre in 1966. [5] Junosuke Okuyama designed a special effect machine named Electronics Sound Breaker (=ESB) for the concert. Kuniharu Akiyama, music critic, wrote about this machine in the liner notes to the Orchestral Space LP as follows, "... amplified sound of the orchestra was sent to some effect machines and ESB, and they were driven by tape version. Just then, electronic amplification was cut off synchronously by silent parts of the tape, and only non-effect live sound was played ...."; Housed in a cardboard paper gatefold sleeve. Includes newly-written liner notes in Japanese and English. Edition of 500 copies.

1: "Funakakushi" is the name of the region originated from a tradition in the 14th century. 2: The sea wave sound is not on this source. 3: Okuyama was an engineer for the Sogetsu Art Center. He assisted with electronic effects on John Cage's first Japan concert tour. 4: Unfortunately, Yomi-uri Nippon Orchestra refused this instruction at the concert, and an ordinary microphone was used for the modulation. Therefore, complete realization of this work planned by Ichiyanagi has not been carried out yet. 5: This version was recorded and published as part of the Orchestral Space LP series.