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 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 tiny gestures, played with a strange logic, which barely punctuats a gauze of near-silence throughout. It's beautifully restrained 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.
Tetuzi Akiyama / 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.
Available as 320k MP3 or 16bit FLAC
1. First Fold - 28:05
2. Second Fold - 29:26
"One of the more accessible of avant-garde guitarists, Akiyama eschews linearity in extreme degrees, and when removed from familiar progressions, his playing evokes a distinct sense of discomfort. Melody and rhythm are left begging here, unrequited in the face of such slurred dynamics… Sometimes delicately and sometimes boldly, he controls sound volumes ranging from micro to macro, in an attempt to convert the body into an electronic entity.". - Michael Crumsho
composer / guitarist / improviser
Currently he is more active in composing, while maintaining an interest in improvisation.
These past few years he has performed, worked, and collaborated closely with Radu Malfatti, Manfred Werder, Stefan Thut, Cristian Alvear, Christian Kobi, Simon Roy Christensen, Johnny Chang, Takeshi Masubuchi, and Minami Saeki.
He is a member of Suidobashi Chamber Ensemble, an ensemble focusing on performing compositions of contemporary or experimental music.
Mark Wastell has been active as a musician since 1995, making his initial concerts with the trio IST featuring Rhodri Davies and Simon H. Fell. He has performed and recorded extensively and has collaborated with the likes of Derek Bailey, John Butcher, Evan Parker, Lasse Marhaug, John Tilbury, Mattin, Mark Sanders, Tony Conrad, Tim Barnes, Bernhard Günter, Keith Rowe, John Zorn, Peter Kowald, Joachim Nordwall, Otomo Yoshihide, Burkhard Beins, Paul Dunmall, David Toop, Alan Wilkinson, Max Eastley, Hugh Davies, Julie Tippetts and David Sylvian. Mark also runs the Confront Recordings record label.
Toshimaru Nakamura's instrument is the no-input mixing board, which describes a way of using a standard mixing board as an electronic music instrument, producing sound without any external audio input. The use of the mixing board in this manner is not only innovative in the the sounds it can create but, more importantly, in the approach this method of working with the mixer demands. The unpredictability of the instrument requires an attitude of obedience and resignation to the system and the sounds it produces, bringing a high level of indeterminacy and surprise to the music. Nakamura pioneered this approach to the use of the mixing board in the mid-1990's and has since then appeared on over one hundred audio publications, including nine solo CD's."Nakamura's instrument of choice - the no-input mixing board – may sound forbidding, as if its output would sound more machine than music. But for over a decade, Nakamura has cultivated a world of tones from this unlikely instrument, both harsh and mesmerizing, humanist and expansive – with something to lure in music fans of any stripe." - Samdhisound