The second evening of “Voices and Echoes” presents a series of unique collaborations including Otomo Yoshihide + Marina Rosenfeld duo, Gozo Yoshimasu + Tamio Shiraishi + Cammisa Buerhaus trio, and Akio Suzuki + Jason Lescalleet duo.
Otomo Yoshihide + Marina Rosenfeld Duo
Otomo Yoshihide is one of the most well known Japanese musicians and composers in the experimental music field. Performing with guitar, turntables, and electronics he first came to international prominence in the 1990s as the leader of the noise rock group Ground Zero, and has since worked in a variety of contexts, ranging from free improvisation to noise, jazz and contemporary classical. A pioneering figure in onkyo and electroacoustic improvisation scenes, Otomo has been featured on important records on labels such as Improvised Music from Japan and Erstwhile. He studied at the Meiji University from 1979, where he studied ethnomusicology, concentrating on the Japanese pop music of World War II and the development of musical instruments during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Samples of instruments and music from this period are found in several of his works. He played in rock bands while at college, but turned to improvisation after discovering free jazz and free improvisation musicians like guitarist Derek Bailey, saxophonist Kaoru Abe and guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi.
Known equally as a composer of large-scale performances and an experimental turntablist working with hand-crafted dub plates, Marina Rosenfeld has been a leading voice in the increasing hybridization between the domains of visual art and music. She has created chamber and choral works; a series of acclaimed "orchestras" for floor-bound electric guitars and other unusual scenarios; and since 2008, a series of works, often mounted in monumental spaces, like the Park Avenue Armory and Western Australia's Midland Railway Workshops, deploying complexes of unamplified live performers and custom loudspeaker installations.
Gozo Yoshimasu + Tamio Shiraishi + Cammisa Buerhaus trio
Gozo Yoshimasu, considered one of the most representative figures of Japanese modern literature, has published over thirty books of poetry— among them works that have been available in several languages– since the release of his first book of poetry in 1964 at the age of twenty-five. His poetry, which he challenges himself to constantly reinvent and reinvigorate, chronicles a tireless pursuit of origins. He also explores the idea of always being in movement. As a traveler his itineraries have initially followed those of the great 17th century Japanese poet Basho to widen to a more personal ‘pilgrimage’ from the isles of Japan to the American desert, Central Asia or simply common streets in most continents in the world. It’s no wonder that this constant movement— walking, driving, traveling by train or boat, is one of the foundations of his poems giving them a sense of rhythm, speed in “the pursuit of his desire to go far away”(from his poem Weaver Girl). He has also developed his poetry into other forms of artistic expression. As a performer, he has cultivated a unique style of recitation, and uses rhythm and vocal modulation to the extent that one might consider it a form of incantation. His voice, at times gentle at times feverish lands itself of a fascination meeting with music. His readings have been called “electrifying revelations of the power of poetry to move the heart and mind without the air of translation.”
Founding member of the legendary noise unit Fushitsusha Saxophonist Tamio Shiraishi has had a storied career performing alongside some of the most significant contemporary musicians. In USA, he has performed with Crash Worship, No Neck Blues Band and many more. He currently performs in subway stations after midnight.
Cammisa Buerhaus is a sound artist and instrument creator. Her work is rooted in embodied action, and utilizes sculpture to explore the body in space. She will be playing the Chroma Color Organ, a custom made wooden pipe organ that she built herself.
Akio Suzuki + Jason Lescalleet Duo
Akio Suzuki is known as a pioneer of sound art, but the breadth of his activities and the form of his works far exceeds the normal boundaries of sound art. It is perhaps more as a “quester after sound and space” that he has received the most attention from artists in many fields. Suzuki’s journey as an artist began in 1963 with a performance at Nagoya station, in which he threw a bucket full of junk down a staircase. The inspiration behind this performance— the idea that if one were to hurl an object down a well-balanced stairway, a pleasant rhythm might be the result— took the desire to “listen” as its subject. That desire to hear, to listen has remained the one constant in Suzuki’s stance as an artist. During the sixties, Suzuki’s sense of playfulness led him to undertake a series of Self-Study Events, where he explored the processes of “throwing” and “following”, taking the natural world as his collaborator. The experiences he gained in these events led him in the seventies to invent an echo instrument he named Analapos. The instrument’s structure resembles that of two mirrors facing each other, reflecting into infinity. As an extension of the principles underlying Analapos, Suzuki constructed the Hinatabokko no kukan (Space in the Sun) in 1988. This space consists of two huge parallel walls, in between which the artist can sit all day and purify his hearing by listening to the reflected sounds of nature. This space leads the artist to discover a new method of listening. Suzuki himself comments, “Sound, which had been conceptually imprisoned in various spaces, is freed to circle the world.”
Jason Lescalleet has gradually and painstakingly built a compelling discography over the past decade. He uses reel-to-reel tape decks to explore the textures of low fidelity analog sounds and the natural phenomena of old tape and obsolete technology. His skill lies as much in reworking, assembling and mastering the material available as in creating it in the first place. He has worked with Ron Lessard, Joe Colley and Phill Niblock, and has released discs on Mattresslessness, Electronic Music and The Pilgrim.
Voices and Echoes is supported by the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program, the Asian Cultural Council, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.