Towards a coexistence of sounds beyond synchronization
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.
Every space is permeated by sound and gives birth to limitless numbers of ensembles
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.
- July 5 - October 13, 2008
- Studio A, StudioB, Foyer, Gallery Second Floor, Library
- Special Site
- Poster & Flyer
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.
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.
- 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
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)
- 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)
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
Venue: Horyuan (Yamaguchi)
January 8 - 31, 2010
Venue: shin-bi (Kyoto)
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.
Yoshihideo Otomo + Tadasu Takamine: Talk Show
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.
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.
- July 5, 2008
- Studio A
- Live: Otomo Yoshihide, Kahimi Karie, Mariko Hamada, Seiichi Yamamoto, Jim O’Rourke, Yoshimitsu Ichiraku, Madoka Ichiraku, Sachiko M, DJ TRANQUILIZER [Otomo Yoshihide + Yasutomo Aoyama], Benedict Drew
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.
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.
- August 23, 2008
- different places in the center
- 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 + ]
Talk event in which Otomo Yoshihide and Tadasu Takamine explained the background and production process of the work "orchestras".
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.
Through the tours, participants discovered together with YCAM educational staff, most attractive features of the exhibition. (12 times during the event period)
- Yamaguchi City Foundation for Cultural Promotion
In association with:
- Yamaguchi City
- Yamaguchi City Board of Education
- UK-JAPAN 2008
- Asahi Beer Arts Foundation
- The Kao Foundation for Arts and Sciences
- sendai mediatheque
- NHK ENTERPRISES
- OFFICE SHIOUS
- Acoustic Technical Laboratory
- Meyer Sound Laboratories inc.
- Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]