Piano Solo – Otomo Yoshihide

Recorded live at Cafe OTO in March 2009 during Otomo Yoshihide's first residency here. This was one of only a handful of solo piano performances Otomo has given where he uses the instrument as a control matrix for harmonically rich feedback tones and devastating clusters of complex noise. Vinyl sold out long ago, so pleased to share this as a download finally!

"For Otomo, the piano is a big box of potential sound. But since he’s an obsessive sort, he really digs into certain of its corners, and dig he does; when this record doesn’t sound like a gonzo feedback extravaganza, it sounds like he’s cutting through the side of the instrument with a hand-held saw. Whatever the means he used to make the piano sound like that, he’s laid utter waste to the instrument’s conventional sonic associations. There are plenty of people out there making pianos sound like something other than pianos, but I can’t think of anyone else doing it with so much punk spirit and so little reference to any familiar piano vocabulary." - Bill Meyer, Still Single


Otomo Yoshihide / piano 


Recorded at Cafe OTO by Shane Brown. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by LUPO at Calyx Mastering. 

Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC 


Part I - 12:33
Part II - 12:33

Otomo Yoshihide

Otomo Yoshihide moves between free jazz, noise, improvisation, composition and the unclassifiable with a generosity that opens up the possibilities for expression in all of the constellations with which he's involved. He spent his teenage years in Fukushima, about 300 kilometers north of Tokyo. Influenced by his father, an engineer, Otomo began making electrical devices such as a radio and an electronic oscillator. In junior high school, his hobby was making sound collages using open-reel tape recorders. This was his first experience creating music. Soon after entering high school he formed a band which played rock and jazz, with Otomo on guitar. It wasn't long, however, before he became a free jazz aficionado, listening to artists like Ornette Coleman, Erick Dolphy and Derek Bailey; and hearing music, both on disk and at concerts, by Japanese free jazz artists. Especially influenced by alto sax player Kaoru Abe and guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi, Otomo decided to play free jazz.

In 1990, Otomo started what was to become Ground Zero. Until it disbanded in March 1998, the band was at the core of his musical creativity, while it underwent several changes in style and membership. Since Ground Zero, Otomo has embraced minimal improvisation, film music and the jazz/big band conceptions of his New Jazz Quartet/Quintet/Orchestra.