Our new in house label, releasing music recorded in lockdown.

Antonina Nowacka has treated us to countless unforgettable performances over the years, both with her sister Bogumila Piotrowska in oneiric audio-visual duo WIDT, and in abstract minimalist trio Szpety. In this new work her voice responds to her surroundings and journey through the Oaxaca state in Mexico, recorded in a set of small churches scattered throughout her journey. Imbedded somewhere between the earthily and the metaphysical, her voice - alone, searching and unbound - acts as a receiver of her outer worlds; an emotive map of the terrain as she drifts from one place to another. As Tristan Bath elegantly puts it, "her solo practice focuses solely on the voice’s inherent connection to mental states, its ability to speak wordlessly, and the apparatus of speech itself." "I made these recordings when travelling around the Oaxaca state in Mexico in February this year. I was following a trail of historic organs, but most of them were unaccessible. In the meantime, I discovered that many small churches in villages were open but rarely visited, and I realized they were actually perfect recording venues. What I also discovered, perhaps most significantly, was how interesting getting there was. Everyday I would look for churches to check out, and figuring out how to get there was an exciting part of the proccess. Some of the churches were in far out locations, not easy to access. But while I was travelling I discovered stunning mountainous landscapes, and I would transmit these beautiful experiences later when singing in the spaces. Sometimes I decided to get off road just when I saw an interesting spot. Sometimes I would go very far just to find out a church is closed, but then I would find a different one open nearby, and it would resonate with wonderful sound I did not expect. Whenever there were people in some of churches my interaction and recording would be more fragile as I didnt want to disturb anyone in their prayers." - Antonina Nowacka

Antonina Nowacka – Vocal Sketches From Oaxaca

After countless appearances at OTO over the years - either solo, or in collaboration with the likes of Sharon Gal and Phil Julian - Andie Brown shares with us her debut album under her own name, and her first full solo album in the best part of a decade. Sculpted over the course of a year from her dedicated glass-based practice, Alucita is a tender new work, welcoming the listener to a slowly unfurling, harmonically rich sound world. "Alucita I, II and III are recordings from a trilogy of sound installations for automated glass harp and electronics. Each installation explores the harmonic content of the sounding object (a wine glass) through the synthesis of the resulting audio, fanning out the partials like the wings of a many plumed Alucita moth.Alucita I  is an audio-visual work for a single wine glass, electronics and film. This work was created as part of a micro-commission, curated by People Like Us / Vicki Bennett, as part of her residence at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Centre and hosted by WFMU.Alucita II  is a sculptural sound installation for eight wine glasses and electronics, developed during a three-month artistic residency at Huddersfield’s artist-collective organisation ame.Alucita III is a sculptural sound installation for four wine glasses and electronics." -Andie Brown -- All works recorded by Andie brown in Huddersfield between 2020 and 2021. -- Cover artwork by Oliver Barrett

Andie Brown – Alucita

Katz Mulk have developed a reputation over the past few years for their mind-boggling live performances, infusing dance, sculpture and choreography with their slippery experimental electronic pop. As a group they celebrate the possibility of art as a tool for excavation; filtering inside worlds and contradictory ideas into a space of cohabitation. For this release for Takuroku they share their most personal work yet, brought to life in a 4D maze where elements of pop, musique concrete, slanted electronics and oddball poetics slip and slide with one another in glorious technicolor. "The first two tracks tracks, 'Postcard' and 'Scolding and Soothing', were sketched out for a work-in-progress residency, when all four of members of the group were invited by AME (Ryoko Akama & Stephen Harvey) to spend a week in their Dai Hall space in Huddersfield and put together a new performance. The residency was from the 27th January to 1st February 2020, so developing the work for live performance ground to a halt because of the pandemic. From there it turned into an exchange between me and Ben, and we've slowly worked on it over the last year. We started by raking over familiar ground, using samples that hadn't quite made it into previous work/performances, and from there it transformed into something new and exciting for us quite quickly. The music is shaped by our circumstances - recorded separately at home on headphones rather than in a practice space. Vocals were recorded in the bathroom after my daughter, Corra, had gone to bed. Our collaboration ebbed and flowed through the months as different aspects of our lives took over - work, parenting, exhaustion - and I think this shaped the music as well. Leaving space for it to breathe and ideas to percolate.  As for the words... I edited them together from my journal, which is composed of personal reflections and automatic writing, alongside email conversations with friends, postcards I sent to people and the odd line from DW Winnicott to create a college of intimacies and anecdotes attuned to the present." - Ben Knight -- Cover photo by Stephen Harvey

Katz Mulk – Everything Unfurling

We're proud to present a very special bonus TakuRoku release this week withour partners at Liverpool Biennial in the form of London artist Haroon Mirza's Pathology in Three Parts. Haroon Mirza’s work tests the interplay and friction between sound and light waves and electric current. He devises sculptures, performances and immersive installations that pry on one’s awareness of their own experience. An advocate of interference, he creates situations that purposefully cross wires. He describes his role as a composer, manipulating his primary medium, electricity, a live, invisible and volatile natural phenomenon. Mirza asks us to reconsider the perceptual distinctions between noise, sound and music, and draws into question the categorisation of cultural forms. Pathology in Three Parts (2021) follows Mirza’s “modular opera” structure, and features two scenes or “acts” from a previous iteration, Construction of an Act (2019), either side of this new performative element. As new acts join the repertoire, the narrative, based around a shaman who uses her voice to heal, unfolds exploring ideas of sound, medicine and mystical experience. Both works ask us to consider the sociological and physiological properties of the human voice, and explores Mirza's interest in systems of belief, waveforms and patterns of movement. Pathology in Three Parts is available to download now on our website and you can can find more information on Haroon's Liverpool Biennial project here. -- Track 1 - Technology will (en)Slave UsWritten, performed and produced by Haroon MirzaFeaturing Apple memoji & Google Assistant Track 2 - The Three /\/\/’sWritten and produced by Haroon MirzaVocal Direction by Jennifer JohnImprovised Performances by Anne Taft, Emma Bispham, Jennifer John, Steve Boyland and Tayo Aluko Track 3 - 111HzWritten, performed and produced by Haroon Mirza Track 4 - Construction of an ActWritten and performed by Haroon Mirza and Sarah-Jane Lewisproduced by Haroon Mirza -- Mixed by Charlie FieberMastered by Oli Barrett Coding - Ben Barwise, Jim Bumgardner, Haroon Mirza, Martin Prout, Daniel Shiffman Electronics - Ben Barwise and Tom Mclean -- https://outputs.bandcamp.com/ https://mirzajelfs.bandcamp.com/album/the-wave-epoch https://www.instagram.com/hrm199_outputs/

Haroon Mirza – Pathology in Three Parts

Pioneering Japanese sound artist Akio Suzuki has created improvised and transitory performances since the 1960s, investigating the acoustic qualities of selected locations and utilising an array a self-made instruments. For this beautiful and beguiling release for Takuroku, he presents new work using his ANAPOLAS instrument and “I wa fu e” stone flute.  -- Akio Suzuki - all instrumentation & recording -- Oliver Barrett - mastering & artwork design -- Artist’s Notes (English)  “ANAPOLAS -a” & “ANALAPOS -b” 2021 This ON-KI (sound instrument) is a variation of Voice ANALAPOS-a, an instrument which was created in 1970 while exploring the sound of echo at the “self-study event” of the 1960s. This instrument was used in the LP “ New Sense of Hearing” with Takehisa Kosugi, and in Sesshu Kai work “Interactivity for ANALAPOS.” It was also used in compositions by Aki Takahashi and for Toru Takemitsu’s film music… There was a time ANALAPOS was very active. ANALAPOS -a is mainly played by blowing a vice into one of the cylinders connected by a spring, while the -b type is made into a percussive instrument by arranging several of those cylinders upright and playing with drumsticks. In the 1980s, my ANALAPOS was invited to Derek Bailey’s “Company” of Free improvisation, and was able to presented for the first time in London. I also played with Steve Lacy, and more recently John Butcher and Aki Onda using these ON-KI. These groups of ANALAPOS let me play across the field of improvisation from contemporary music.  I’ve found it difficult to carry the heavy iron ON-KI so I have stored them, but I’m grateful that TakuRoku made these ON-KI see the sun again.  “i wa fu e” 2021 In Japan’s Jomon period, which lasted for about 13,000 years from now to 2500 years ago, according to archiological “i wa fu e” (stone flutes) samples may suggest that there have been a festival of blowing natural stones with holes.  There was a “i wa fu e” that I was given from my father, and it was a family treasure that has been passed down to the Suzuki family for generations. I always took it overseas as my mascot, but in the autumn of 2005, at the request of a filmmaker from London, I headed from Paris to Schiphol Airport on the way back from playing this “i wa fu e” at the old crater of the Italian volcanic island Stromboil. This family treasure disappeared from the net shelves of the train together with my suitcase!  Immediately a lost property request call was made on the page of THE WIRE magazine (issue 265), but still no luck after 16 years since then.  In 2019, Carlo Fossati, the owner of Torino’s gallery e/static contacted me that he managed to archive the documentation of me playing the family treasure at the Stromboil. This is the only video record of this “i wa fu e”.  And in February of last year 2020, when I was invited to perform in Auckland, New Zealand. Phil Dawson from Scratch gifted me another stone flute. This is the ““i wa fu e” I use now.  Phil remembered the incident that family stone flute got lost. He had picked up something similar to the lost stone at a nearby beach and kept it for me.  Phil and I have been “stone friends” for many years.  - Akio Suzuki  Notes on the title “ m e r i d i a n s c e n e r y “  As an Eastern person, I wonder if this is allowed, but I made up this word myself.  I put together “meridian” and “light” with a space in between each letter.  Tango, where I live, is the northernmost point on the 135 degree line of Japan Standard Time. I named it honestly according to where I recorded and in this particular time and season.  I dedicate this title to both the seasonal scene and Keiko, “the child of landscape”, too.   Artist’s Notes (Japanese) “ANALAPOS -a”& “ANALAPOS -b” 2021  ‘60年代の「自修イベント」で、エコーポイントを探るなか1970年に創作したVoice ANALAPOS -aのバリエーションがこの音器です。 Takehisa Kosugiと”New Sense of Hearing・・”というLPレコードの中で使用したり、Sesshu Kaiが、”Interactivity for ANALAPOS”の作曲をして下さったり、Aki Takahashiの委嘱で作曲をしたり、Toru Takemitsu の映画音楽にも登場したりと、活躍をした時期がありました。  ANALAPOS -aは、スプリングでつないだ片方のシリンダーに、主に声を吹き入れて演奏するのですが、それを立てにして幾つかを並べることにより打楽器に仕立てたのが -bタイプで、特性のバチによって演奏をします。  ‘80年代になって、Free improvisationのDerek Bailey “Company”に呼ばれてLondonで初演奏が出来たり、フリー・ジャズのSteve Lacyや、最近では、John Butcherや Aki Ondaと、この音器を使っての共演の例もあります。だから、現代音楽から即興の分野をまたいで遊ばせてくれたのが、これらANALAPOS群です。  現在は、鉄製の重い音器を運ぶのが億劫になって、お蔵入りをしていましたが、”TakuRoku”が、また陽の目を見させてくれて感謝しています。 “i wa fu e” 2021  今から2500年前までの約13000年間続いたという、日本の「縄文時代」には、穴の空いた自然石を吹きならす祭り事があったのではと、考古発掘例の「石の笛」から推測されています。  たまたま父から譲り受けた「石の笛」があって、それは代々鈴木家に伝わってきた宝でした。常に我がマスコットとして海外に持ち出していましたが、2005年の秋にLondonの映像作家の要請に応えて、イタリアの火山島Stromboliの旧火口でこれを演奏した帰りに、ParisからSchiphol空港に向かう列車 Thalysの網棚からケースごとこれが消えてしまったのでした。  直ぐに、THE WIRE Issue265の紙面に消息願いが出されましたが、あれから 16年が経ってしまいました。  2019年になって、Torinoの画廊 e/staticオーナーの Carlo Fossatiから連絡が来て、video document,2003 を 〈vimeo.com/364584092〉 登録したとの朗報をくれました。これが、動画としての唯一の記録です。  そして、昨年(2020)の2月に、ニュージーランドのAuclandの演奏に招かれた折、From Scratchの Phil Dadsonから矢庭にプレゼントされたのが、 この「石の笛」です。久しぶりに再会した彼は、以前無くした「石の笛」のことを覚えていてくれたのです。ぼくのために、近くの浜で似たものを拾っておいたんだと。 Philは、長年の”stone friend” なのです。 - Akio SUZUKI “ m e r i d i a n s c e n e r y “  と子午線と景(ひかり)をくっつけてしかも半角あけて作りました (東洋人が勝手にこんなことして良いのかナ) 意味はぼくの住む丹後は日本標準時の135度線上の最北地です この季節に演奏をしたので正直に名付けました 季節の情景でもあり景子さんに捧げてもいます

Akio Suzuki – " m e r i d i a n s c e n e r y "

Samuel D. Loveless' curious and implacable music arrived in our inbox late last year, and we've been spellbound since. Alone himself in a room, 'krɪstəfə [live crypt] is both an excavation of the voice and an improvised reckoning with space and temporality. The work is book-ended by a 25 minute long composed piece, 'Guardian', which turns the clock off, drifting the narrative into free-fall with slowly moving blocks of resonant piano notes. ˈkrɪstəfə, isn’t daring, or perhaps even very interesting in its audible output. It’s not been researched nor is it refined.ˈkrɪstəfə(tracks 1-6), was recorded live at the beginning of March 2021 on a stunning day in a cold, dark, damp room on Euston Road. The room, a crypt, has not been renovated or changed much at all since its construction in 1822, barring a few lights and minimal plug sockets. It is the resting place of so many. It is beautiful, grounding, harrowing and contemplative.ˈkrɪstəfə, is a duet between myself and the space. Nor I or the space are more important than the other. During the time 'krɪstəfəwas inspired, most of us had been between the same four walls for a large majority of the previous year and had experienced the foreign with our own company, for better or worse. For myself, Lent (of which March is in) is a very spiritual and meditative time of year for many reasons that I won’t go into now.  Within my work as a creative, whether it be sound, visual, performative, whatever, everything is purposed; everything is exactly there for a specific reason. It is hugely researched, deliberate and deliberated over. It comments on something. It is what is have to say. During Lent, on my own, within the same four walls, I wanted to introspectively just ‘be’; setting my main creative tools  aside (trumpet and composition) and simply saying what it is I have to say. Something, that although not daring for krɪstəfə, was and is for me. In order to simply ‘be’, it had to be done by my ’self’ alone. Not least of all because it had to encompass my whole being, but because singing, more specifically choral music, was my entry into the musical world as a chorister. Ironically,ˈkrɪstəfə goes right back to my roots in music, whilst also managing to be removed from anything I’ve done before, improvising with just my voice.  So whilst 'krɪstəfə may not be daring or perhaps even very interesting, it is nothing if not open and forth coming. Thank you.  - Samuel D. Loveless -- ˈkrɪstəfə (tracks 1-6) Improvised and recorded by Samuel D. Loveless Space by Crypt Gallery on Euston Road  Mixed by Josh Wolfsohn  -- Guardian  Piano by Roberto Boschelli  Composed and recorded by Samuel D. Loveless Mixed by Edward Cross -- Artwork by Robert George Sanders Mastered by Oliver Barrett

Samuel D. Loveless – 'krɪstəfə [live crypt]

A poem; a mumbled refrain; a vocal track; a vignette of a song; a plonk on a piano and guitar; a rattle on the drums. The ingredients in Tori Kudo's new release Takuroku might be familiar to fans of his ramshackle solo work and in Maher Shalal Hash Baz, but the way he scatters them, lays them out, collages them and puts them together is anything but. This is Tori at his most experimental, but also most revealing; bringing us close, breathing in our ear, showing us glimmers and multiple exposures of his life and letting us pick up the pieces. Tori has kindly shared with us the lyrics to Track 1 below, both in English and Japanese. Practice! Performance Biopolitical meetings of Flowers and spring breeze The flag is about to fall on the base of the ridge Grabbed a bunch of hair Pass between heaven and earth Shown another artificial meat A pillar that stirs jealousy You can't stand on the foundation of *Waka The design is endless, so run, the truth Get off at Mt. Shoji using the elevator inside Decide whether to climb in pairs or not Don't show off if you crush the viper Get off the elevator inside *Waka is a type of poetry in classic Japanese literature  練習!パフォーマンス 生政治の会合の 花やら春風やら 畦の土台に旗は倒れそうだ 髪の毛の房を掴まれて 天と地の間を通り 別の人造肉を見せられる 嫉妬をかき立てる柱 和歌の土台に立つことはできない 意匠は無限にあるのだから走れ真理よ 障子山は内部のエレベーターで降りろ 二人一組で登るか登らないか決めろ マムシを潰したら見せびらかすな  内部のエレベーターで降りろ -- Mastered by and Cover design by Oli Barrett

Tori Kudo – Solo

Pianos are solitary creatures, usually found standing alone in living rooms, rehearsal halls, studios, and on auditorium stages. These massive, wondrous, yet tamed beasts can be controlled with the tip of a finger. However, as they age and their bodies expand and crack, their screws loosen and their strings fall out of tune, they become feral. What would happen if they were set free in the wild? What other sounds do they hold within, beyond the measured, familiar gestures which have come to define them? Sound artist Maya Dunietz, saviour and saint of retired pianos, decided to explore their feral sounds. She established a family of five retired pianos, gathered from different corners of the world. Each family member is an individual of unique characteristics within the collective. These large, broken, and damaged beasts have already shed their function and identity. As their voice no longerdepends on a hammer striking a string, they distance themselves from what is standard and favour the potential in change.  Curious to find out what sounds they would make, Dunietz hybridized the pianos with low-frequency transducers. These transducers, or “buttkickers”, are essentially large magnets drilled into the pianos, pushing and pulling their heavy bodies, thus inspiring them to roar, hum, and tremble. The magnets receive digital signals composed by Dunietz through a unique algorithmic system programmed by sound artist Daniel Meir, her project partner. These signals, amplified through the transducers, interact with the pianos and become audible, while spreading outward from the pianos into the room, reverberating between the walls and other objects, continually adding sound layers. Within this process, previously unheard sounds arise, sounds one would never have expected from a piano. The algorithm that ignites the sounds of the pianos was influenced by the number √2. Historically, √2 was discovered by Pythagoras to be the length of a diagonal of a 1x1 square. This discovery undermined the fundamental mathematical-philosophical principle of antiquity by demonstrating that positive real numbers did not govern the universe. Incommensurable as the ratio of integers, the very existence of unmentioned, surd, or irrational numbers – as they were called through the ages – has been debated for millennia. Dealing with these numbers meant messing with the dark forces of nature. Fascinated by the qualities and history of irrational numbers, Dunietz and Meir wanted to incorporate them into the work.   To construct their algorithmic system, Dunietz and Meir selected number pairs: x and 2x, expressing low and high frequencies one octave apart. They calculated two possible middle points for each pair: their arithmetic mean (a + c2) and their geometric mean (ac), for a total of four related frequencies. They transmitted these frequencies to groups of three pianos: the first piano received the basic, low frequency; the second piano received the high frequency; the third piano received a frequency oscillating between the arithmetic and geometric means of the first two, thus creating a relationship between the three pianos. Each piano of the original family of five served as a member in multiple trios: the middle, oscillating frequency of one trio became the low frequency of another trio. This process generated a continuous increase in movement.  The entire group of pianos shifts from unity to complexity, from organization to anarchy. The usual rules can no longer contain them, and they have sloughed off the system of power that created them for its own use. The power of reason cannot withstand a tidal wave of passion. Emancipated from the constraints of the Equal Temperament’s regime and normative order, the pianos are also released from the tyranny of the normal. They are unusual, deviant, fluid, unpopular. They are stray weeds outside the system. Their flaws are no longer a dead end, but rather constitute raw material. They are instruments that can be used to pave a new path. The sounds produced by the pianos are free of standard tonal ranges. The notes seem to cry out without hierarchy or fixed focus. With no comforting familiar framework to provide a foothold, the music throbs through large, weary wooden bodies. The pianos growl, roar, purr, squeak, and whistle. Their song resonates the relationships between them. They shift in and out in a futile effort to reach some impossible middle ground. The song has no major or minor but rather embodies their infinite search for a point of equilibrium. In this universe of beats,Five Chilling Mammothsreminds us that sound is the movement of matter, be it string, wood, flesh, or air. The first encounter with the piano's song may seem threatening to someone unaccustomed to being freed from twelve regimented half-tones. An uncontrolled tremor may be produced in the body. However, if we let go, as the pianos have, we too could be swept away by their dynamics, regulate our pulses with theirs, becoming part of their movement. This movement is vibration, a force of nature that we hear, feel, and touch with our bodies. As our body reacts to this tangible vibration, it creates music of powerful nuance and frequency.    - Ran Kasmy Ilan, 2020 -- Built by Maya Dunietz and David Lemoine Composed by Maya Dunietz and Daniel Meir  -- Recorded at Frac Paca byRudy Romeur Mixed by Daniel Meir Mastering by Joe Talia Photographs by Hadas Satt Recording was made possible with the kind help of GMEM & FRAC PACA.  Record produced by The Artists’ Residence Herzliya for the exhibitionSlightly Alive(2021) and The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts for Maya Dunietz’s solo exhibition (2022) Special thanks to: Adi Nachman, Shual studio, Sergio Edelstein, Dr. Noa Shuval, Dr. Liat Even-Dar Mandel, Assaf Talmudi, Yoav Beirach, Sergio Edelsztein, Kibudunitz.

Maya Dunietz – Five Chilling Mammoths

"Seeds of Songs is a kind of aural chronological retrospective of the year of Corona. For the first lockdown months which started back in March 2020, my creativity literally froze. When all my concerts and activities got canceled, faced with these shocking at the time situation, I lost motivation to work or produce anything and lured myself into the pleasure of sudden free time, connecting daily to the beauty of spring. I slowed down, observed, and I listened - to the world within and outside, to my thoughts, my heart, my mood, my close and distant surroundings, to the sounds heard each day and night at my home, in the presence of no one besides my children… my listening became deeper, undisturbed, conscious, lovable. And before I even knew it, it connected strongly to the process of creation of this album.I learned about Takuroku and its mission from Lucy Railton, quite shortly after the launch of the label, and immediately imagined to put out a new solo. But it wasn’t the right moment back then, so I gave myself the needed time and patience, expecting nothing. Months later, in Sept. 2020, I finally had the will to record and give voice to the manifestation of this long months of listening. The will of capturing more sounds afterwards continued the slow process. Snippets of the most familiar, alongside the sudden and unrepeatable, field recordings, my voice, playing various objects and small instruments - this is what I was recording for the months till end of 2020, and a selection of it ended up being material for this release. I finally started editing at the beginning of 2021, and engaged fully with it for the following two months.It is the first time that I create a completely new composition by imagining and collaging together various unrelated sounds. At first, there were paired as short ideas, as seeds of the upcoming work. I found myself drawn into a number of short, songlike voice parts from the recorded collection, and slowly, they all started connecting to one another in a very organic way. In many different cultures of the world, songs express otherwise forbidden feelings, thoughts, emotions. While I am far from the will and ability of full body narrative song expression, these seeds of non-narrative songs give an abstract, but direct glimpse into the condensed essence of what lies deep inside me." - Biliana Voutchkova -- All music by Biliana Voutchkova -- Mastered by Taku Unami Part of this album was recorded on 2.9.2020 at Ausland / Berlin by Roy Carroll All other recordings and cover image by Biliana Voutchkova Cover artwork by Oliver Barrett

Biliana Voutchkova – Seeds of Songs