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Akiyama / Nakamura / Sugimoto / Wastell - Foldings

(confront 12)

Akio Suzuki & David Toop - Breath Taking

(confront 14)

Akio Suzuki : kikkukikiriki, stone flute, small stones, pan pipe, ireba, silent toy
David Toop : flutes, bone whistle, dog whistles, stones, whistling pot, organic materials, feedback device


Recorded at Sound 323, London on March 15, 2003 by Akinori Yamasaki.


"Breath-Taking is the result of one of Akio Suzuki's rare visits to England. Suzuki's music proceeds from meditation and transforms quotidian objects (a stone flute, small stones, a "silent toy") into fragile means of communication. David Toop makes a very compatible sound-mate. Here he uses an assortment of flutes and whistles, along with a whistling pot and "organic materials" (a vague enough description to allow the listener to imagine at will). Upon first listen, one may think of two serious men making childlike music, but the level of contemplation found in this single, 37-minute piece dispels this first impression. The performance is not particularly striking, even from the point of view of such a quiet form of improvisation, but it is obvious that the music doesn't intend to strike or compel. It is born out of such simplicity that it simply exists -- it is there, discreetly inhabiting your listening space, and its sole presence is a marvel. One finds an interesting level of interaction between the artists and inventive, creative sound-making at play."

(François Couture, All Music Guide)

Tetuzi Akiyma : turntable, air duster 
Toshimaru Nakamura : no-input mixing board 
Taku Sugimoto : acoustic guitar, preparations 
Mark Wastell : violoncello, preparations, contact mic, amplifier.


Recorded live in concert at Offsite, Yoyogi, Tokyo on January 19th, 2002 by Taku Sugimoto.


"Three of the most important figures in Japan's improv scene combine with multi-instrumentalist Mark Wastell for this remarkable album on Confront. Foldings was awarded an honourary mention at 2003's Prix Ars Electronica, also scooping a top ten place in The Wire magazine's improvised recordings of the year list. Londoner Mark Wastell visited Tokyo's legendary Offsite venue, rendezvousing with guitarist Taku Sugimoto, no-input mixing board maestro Toshimaru Nakamura and Tetuzi Akiyama, who on this release takes up residence behind a turntable. As with so much of the output from these musicians (certainly from around the time this performance was recorded) much of the music is heartstoppingly quiet and infinitesimal, with the tiniest of gestures punctuating a gauze of near-absence throughout. It's heroically disciplined stuff though, and ranks as one of the most radical and involving documents within the electroacoustic, super-silent 'onkyo' canon. If you've got the patience for it, this is marvellous stuff." (BOOMKAT)

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