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YCAM Re-Marks

OTOMO YOSHIHIDE / ENSEMBLES

Towards a coexistence of sounds beyond synchronization
Every space is permeated by sound and gives birth to limitless numbers of ensembles

Based on the concept of gathering multiple "ensembles" that are each made up of multiple members, the expansive sonic universe of Otomo Yoshihide, an artist covering a broad range of genres including free jazz, improvised and film music, is showcased in five multilateral installations mixing elements of space, imagery and sound. Each individual work resulted from Otomo's collaboration with various musicians, sound and visual artists from Japan and abroad.
Workshops, live performances and other events held in conjunction with the respective displays during the period of each exhibition were occasions in which new landscapes emerged out of the encounters and dialogues between a number of individuals.
Date
July 5 - October 13, 2008
Place
Studio A, StudioB, Foyer, Gallery Second Floor, Library
Special Site
http://otomo.ycam.jp/
Poster & Flyer

Works

quartets (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Otomo Yoshihide + Yuki Kimura + Benedict Drew + Norimichi Hirakawa + Ko Ishikawa + Yoshimitsu Ichiraku + Jim O’Rourke + Kahimi Karie + Sachiko M + Axel Dörner + Martin Brandlmayr

Perpetually spinning ensembles from a database

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quartets (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Otomo Yoshihide + Yuki Kimura + Benedict Drew + Norimichi Hirakawa + Ko Ishikawa + Yoshimitsu Ichiraku + Jim O’Rourke + Kahimi Karie + Sachiko M + Axel Dörner + Martin Brandlmayr

Perpetually spinning ensembles from a database

A large cubic object is placed in the center of the event space, onto each side of which silhouettes of musicians are projected. At the same time, the music these musicians are playing is audible from the inside of the cube. Both silhouettes and music were previously recorded during separate improvised solo performances by eight musicians, and with the help of a computer program that controls their arrangement on a time axis, these sequences are continuously spun into mutually intervening and interacting ensembles. In addition, details of objects made from wood, metal and liquids are projected onto large screens on the walls opposite from each of the cube's sides, flowing/vibrating in concert with the musicians' projected images.
While the visitor can hear all performed music, but not watch the cube's four sides and the surrounding walls simultaneously, it is impossible to grasp all aspects of the work at once.
Tour Information
  • December 21, 2013 - February 16, 2014 MEDIA/ART KITCHEN
    Venue: Bangkok Art and Culture Centre [BACC](タイ)

Credit
Direction / Sound composition : Otomo Yoshihide
Art direction (cube screen): Yuki Kimura
Video / Objects (outer screen): Benedict Drew
Algorithm design / Programming / System: Norimichi Hirakawa
Shooting assistant (cube screen): Soichiro Murata
Technical support: Satoshi Hama

Guitar / Turntable: Otomo Yoshihide
Voice: Kahimi Karie
Synthesizer / Guitar: Jim O’Rourke
Sho: Ko Ishikawa
Percussion: Yoshimitsu Ichiraku
Trumpet: Axel Dörner
Drums and Percussion: Martin Brandlmayr
Sinewaves: Sachiko M

orchestras (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Otomo Yoshihide + Tadasu Takamine + many musicians

maze of memory above and below the ground

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orchestras (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Otomo Yoshihide + Tadasu Takamine + many musicians

maze of memory above and below the ground

Large-scale sound installation combining waste materials and light
Five mirror devices that can be moved in any direction via a computer are installed in the center of the venue, from where they reflect light showering from the ceiling across the entire space. At the same time, more than 500 objects and pieces of waste material collected at various places in the city, as well as 70 speakers are suspended from the ceiling. Audible from these speakers are various sounds synchronized with the moving rays of light from the mirror devices.
These sounds are taken from recordings of improvised performances by a total of more than 100 musicians ranging from professionals to local amateurs, based on a predetermined score. Lights, sounds, objects and waste materials resonate to form a mixed orchestra that stimulates the visitor's memory.
In addition, a gallery type installation made up of vast amounts of disused musical instruments and vinyl records is displayed in the basement under the main installation.
Credit
Direction / Sound composition: Otomo Yoshihide
Art direction: Tadasu Takamine
Mirror controller programming: Kotaro Konishi
Technical support (mirror controller device): Ryota Kuwakubo
Technical support (headphone device): Hiroshi Kanechiku
Sound editing / Recording: Satoshi Hama
Technical assistant: Mitsuru Tokisato

without records (Revised version / World Premiere)

Otomo Yoshihide + Yasutomo Aoyama

Dense soundscapes built from accumulations of individual elements

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without records (Revised version / World Premiere)

Otomo Yoshihide + Yasutomo Aoyama

Dense soundscapes built from accumulations of individual elements

Sound installation consisting of 127 portable records players.
32 participants in a production workshop conducted prior to the event rebuilt record players one by one. By mounting such different materials as cardboard or iron onto the turntables that were originally made for playing vinyl records, the players were converted into quiet lo-fi devices playing unique rhythms and noises. Composed out of these is a spatial installation, whereas the rotation of each player is controlled by a computer programmed to generate multilayered soundscapes without ever creating the same combination of sounds twice during the event period.

The work directs the visitor's attention to the usually ignored sounds made by players themselves, and demonstrates the meanings, potentials, and historical significance in the realm of sound art of records and players that are gradually falling into oblivion in this age of digital portable players.
Tour Information
  • October 27, 2012 - January 3, 2013 Art & Music - Search for New Synesthesia
    Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (Tokyo)

  • March 9 - July 1, 2012 x_sound: John Cage, Nam June Paik & After
    Venue: Nam June Paik Art Center (Korea)

  • November 17 - 20, 2011 Venue: Japan Society (USA)

  • November 30, 2010 - January 16, 2011 ENSEMBLES 2010: Resonance
    Venue: Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito (Ibaraki)

  • July 4 - August, 2009 ENSEMBLES 09 - Rest-ful Musical Devices
    Venue: Vacant (Tokyo)

Credit
Direction / Sound composition: Otomo Yoshihide
Art direction: Yasutomo Aoyama
Technical assistant: Satoshi Hama
Turntable production: Production workshop of “without records” participants (32)
Turntables provided by: Kazumi Arakaki

hyper wr player - without records hi-fi version (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Otomo Yoshihide

Genuine turntable sounds exposed in high-resolution playback environments

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hyper wr player - without records hi-fi version (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Otomo Yoshihide

Genuine turntable sounds exposed in high-resolution playback environments

Departing from the basic concept behind "without records", this work harnesses the latest technologies in order to explore the own inherent sounds of record players.
Turntables used by DJs among others were rebuilt and fitted with four arms each. With the help of computers that control in minute detail the rotation and vibration of each player/arm, multiple layers of sounds are generated from the turntables themselves instead of records they are supposed to play. Playing these sounds via a high-resolution PA system enhances the visitor's highly realistic sensation as if standing on top of a giant record spinning on a turntable.
Tour Information
  • January 29 - February 5, 2011 Horyuan-ten 2011
    Venue: Horyuan (Yamaguchi)

  • January 8 - 31, 2010 Venue: shin-bi (Kyoto)

Credit
Concept / Composition: Otomo Yoshihide

filaments (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Filament [Otomo Yoshihide + Sachiko M]

Subtle audio-visual experiences in wide open spaces

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filaments (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Filament [Otomo Yoshihide + Sachiko M]

Subtle audio-visual experiences in wide open spaces

Installation utilizing of the entire library space in the YCAM building.
4-channel speakers and thirty LED devices with variable/controllable luminosity are installed in the library's ground floor area. The speakers shower the entire space with sound fragments of barely audible volume and frequency, filling the dark and serenely silent library during after-hours with a combination of distantly reverberating sound and faintly blinking lights. The visitor can enjoy this work from the connecting corridor on the first floor that overlooks the entire library, and focus his senses on the ensemble's concert framed by environmental sounds.

Events

Yoshihideo Otomo + Tadasu Takamine: Talk Show

June 1, 2008

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Yoshihideo Otomo + Tadasu Takamine: Talk Show


Date
June 1, 2008
Place
Foyer
Credit
Guest: Otomo Yoshihide, Tadasu Takamine
Moderator: Tetsuya Ozaki

Production workshop of “without records”

June 20 - 29, 2008

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Production workshop of “without records”

Workshop conducted prior to the "without records" exhibition opening, in which participants rebuilt portable records players for use in the actual exhibition.
Date
June 20 - 29, 2008
Place
Workshop Room
Credit
Navigator: Otomo YoshihideYasutomo Aoyama

Live concert "Songs"

July 5, 2008

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Live concert "Songs"

Live concert in three parts celebrating the exhibition opening.
In the 1st set, musicians in the first and second floor audience seating areas improvised to projections of photographs taken by Kahimi Karie on a large screen. The 2nd set featured Benedict Drew, who created the visuals for "quartets", in a collaboration with DJ Tranquilizer (Yasutomo Aoyama + Otomo Yoshihide). The 3rd set started with a duo performance by Mariko Hamada and Yoshimitsu Ichiraku, after which Otomo Yoshihide introduced his newly launched "InvisibleSongs" vocal music project with Kahimi Karie, Mariko Hamada, Seiichi Yamamoto and Jim O'Rourke.

Improvised orchestra workshop for children

August 17, 2008

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Improvised orchestra workshop for children

Workshop focusing on the art of improvising music as opposed to playing after existing scores, and the experience of sharing and creating music together. Participants featured in the 1st set of the "Musics" live concert on August 23, 2008.
Date
August 17, 2008
Credit
Navigator: Otomo Yoshihide

Live concert "Musics"

August 23, 2008

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Live concert "Musics"

Two-part live concert celebrating the unveiling of "orchestras".
Next to Otomo Yoshihide and musicians/artists involved in the exhibition, the first set featured a broad array of performers from all ages and genres, including local amateur musicians, mentally-disabled persons, music therapists, and elementary/high school students that participated in a sound workshop. The event took place at multiple points in and around the YCAM building including the actual exhibition space, where a variety of improvised musical performances were staged at the same time. The 2nd set was a live session by the Otomo Yoshihide New Jazz Orchestra (ONJO), performing while surrounded by the audience.
Date
August 23, 2008
Place
different places in the center
Credit
Live (1st set): OTOMORCHESTRA [Otomo Yoshihide New Jazz Orchestra (ONJO) + Tadasu Takamine + Norimizu Ameya + "without records" production workshop participants + rewall + Kimiyo Ogawa + Hideki Watanabe + Takuma Watanabe + Yuko Mori + Junko Gosho + Manabu Yuasa + Yuasa-wan + Tamasaburo Matsushima + Noriko Shigemi + Sho Yoshihama + HARDREALITY + Kenji Yamanaka + Shin'ichi Komoto and others

Live (1st set): Otomo Yoshihide New Jazz Orchestra (ONJO) [Otomo Yoshihide + ]

Artist Talk

August 24, 2008

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Artist Talk

Talk event in which Otomo Yoshihide and Tadasu Takamine explained the background and production process of the work "orchestras".
Date
August 24, 2008
Place
Studio A
Credit
Guest: Otomo Yoshihide ,Tadasu Takamine, Kotaro Konishi, Takayuki Ito (YCAM)
Moderator: Kazunao Abe (YCAM)

Live concert "Networks"

October 11, 2008

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Live concert "Networks"

Three-part live concert to mark the closing of the exhibition.
Each set of this rather experimental event designed to make use of YCAM's diverse architectural features took place on a different stage. In the 1st set, Otomo played a session with Korean musicians Choi Joonyong, Hong Chulki and Jin Sangtae. For the 2nd set, the foyer's upper area was turned into a stage for Otomo's and Seiichi Yamamoto's guitar duo session. The "Far East Network (FEN)", a new ensemble formed by Otomo and musicians from Singapore, Korea and China with the aim to establish an Asian music network, closed the exhibition with their performance in the 3rd set.
Date
October 11, 2008
Place
Studio A, StudioB, Foyer
Credit
Live: Otomo Yoshihide, Choi Joonyong, Hong Chulki, Jin Sangtae, FEN [Yuen Chee Wai + Ryu Hankil + Yan Jun + Otomo Yoshihide], Yamamoto Seiichi

Profiles

Credit

Organized by:

  • Yamaguchi City Foundation for Cultural Promotion

In association with:

  • Yamaguchi City
  • Yamaguchi City Board of Education
  • UK-JAPAN 2008

Grants from:

  • Asahi Beer Arts Foundation
  • The Kao Foundation for Arts and Sciences

Cooperation:

  • sendai mediatheque
  • CALLITHUMP

Special Thanks:

  • NHK ENTERPRISES
  • OFFICE SHIOUS

Corporate sponsor:

  • Acoustic Technical Laboratory
  • Meyer Sound Laboratories inc.

Co-developed with:

  • YCAM InterLab

Produced by:

  • Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]
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