back in stock as of
june 25th, 2011
first in stock on
january 1st, 2011
|seer sound archive (japan) #seer 001 lp|
group ongaku “music of group ongaku” long playing record
- automatism (26:20) 1960
- object (7:34) 1960
- metaplasm 9-15 • part 1 (14:16) 1961
- metaplasm 9-15 • part 2 (11:26) 1961
|january 2011 release ; whoah (really didn’t see this one coming at all !!!) ...|
contemporary, 180-gram vinyl pressing of the 1996 “hear sound art library” disc (itself one of the most prized & hard-to-come-by items around) collecting a series of live & site-specific recordings from 1960/61 (!!!!) by takehisa kosugi, yasunao tone, chieko shiomi, mikio tojima, genichi tsuge, and shukuo mizuno’s group ongaku ...
widely considered the “first collective musical improvisation group,” group ongaku existed only for a blink before the various members went on to more high-profile projects ... but it’s within these captured voltages we can clearly hear the roots of the constituent members’ various transgressions over the decades to come, from kosugi’s violin & tape-manipulation stratagem, to tone’s sax-blasts & room-sound interference, to shiomi’s conceptual, art-world approach ...
... can’t stress how important & revelatory this music is in terms of 20th century experimental-sound enough ; the roots of the majority of the music whispered about around these parts can be traced directly back to these rosetta-stone-like tablets ... highly recommended !!!
ps. it’s very much worth noting that the ptb have gone to great lengths to make sure this music “works” on vinyl ; despite the often butterfly-winged notions (and extended side-lengths) the mastering / pressing-quality & general audio sense are top-notch throughout ... listen to the extended sound-sample for an untouched transcription of the tail-end of “automatism” ...
|seer sound archive press release...|
|1] automatism (1960) |
2] object (1960)
these are recordings of two live performances. recorded at mizuno's house on the same day. for both performances, they used such sound materials as musical instruments - a piano, a pedal organ, a cello, and an alto saxophone - as well as various everyday objects - an electric vacuum cleaner, a radio, an oil drum, dolls, and a set of dishes.
in "automatism," such decision as who employs what instruments / objects, or how one should articulate the sound, were made spontaneously according to how each performer played at each moment, or by chance at a particular point in time and space. the performers went back and forth between two separate rooms to articulate sounds randomly in various ways, using whatever objects inside the house that were at their disposal, any object that could possibly make sounds. during the course of the performance, one of the members touched the reel of the tape recorder, manually manipulating the tape speed. unlike "automatism," in "object" each performer listened to the sounds articulated by the other members and thus attempted to consciously create and amorphous and complex, yet unified sound space as a whole.
3] metaplasm 9-15 (1961)
this is a live recording of part 2 from group ongaku's first recital at sogetsu hall in tokyo. part 1 consisted of a collective improvisation using various musical instruments. the performance began as the bell rang for the opening of the show. through unconventional ways of manipulating and playing, noise-like sounds were created through the instruments. during the latter half of this performance, while playing the saxophone, both kosugi and tone walked off the stage, waded through the audience, and then disappeared. part 2 consisted of a performance that incorporated several reels of music tapes that had been prepared previous to the show, as well as radio and other various instruments.
|group ongaku, founded mainly by students at tokyo national university of fine arts and music, was the first collective musical improvisation group. the group began their activities in 1958, and from the naming of the group in 1960 onward, continued until somewhere around 1962. they attempted to create acoustics corresponding to actual time and space by means of collective improvisation. although methodically different, the music that they pursued incidentally shared common directions with contemporaries such as john cage and others involved in the avant-garde artist collective of fluxus. |
in november of 1958, shukuo mizuno and takehisa kosugi, undergraduates of the musicology program in the department of music at tokyo national university of fine arts and music, improvised sounds together, playing a cello and a violin. for them the european concept of music, in which compositions are predeterminately fixed sounds from written scores/notations that precede and regulate the performance, reduces the performance to a mere activity of representation, thereby losing the actuality of the acoustics. instead, they sought to explore different acoustics that gradually and constantly changed within actual time and space. through frequent performances every week they became convinced that improvisation, whereby creation and performance occur simultaneously, was the most effective approach for them to pursue.
between 1959 and 1960, chieko (mieko) shiomi, mikio tojima, genichi tsuge, from the musicology program, yumiko tanno, of the vocal music program, and yasunao tone, a graduate of the department of japanese literature at chiba university, joined the group and frequently attempted collective improvisations at various locations. they experimented with such different musical approaches and methods as developing a performance in which each player spontaneously responded to various non-musical sounds that were extracted from instruments and/or miscellaneous everyday objects, or performing completely random and automatic approaches that emphasized the incidental or indeterminate nature of sounds as traces of certain actions.
after their first recital in 1961, a conflict arose between members who interpreted collective as an approach for musical expression, and others who tried to directly connect everyday experiences with musical expressions in an attempt to transcend conventional musical concepts. subsequently, the characteristics of the group shifted from an organization for collective improvisation, to a flexible ensemble for individual musicians and artists, eventually leading members branching off into different directions of their own. among the group, kosugi, shiomi, and tone later joined fluxus.
for these artists, currently active in different musical fields, group ongaku marked the beginning of the careers.
hear sound art library