Monday, 1 May 2017

Joji Yuasa - Piano Works & Tape Music (compi of works spanning '57-'72)

Joji Yuasa (b. 1929, Koriyama) is a wide-ranging Japanese composer, with a particular niche in pioneering electronic/electroacoustic work.  This handy sampler is preceded by a trio of piano pieces, recorded in 1973 by Yuji Takahashi, that are worth a listen, but the remaining 48 minutes of this compilation are mindblowing, and I'll definitely be seeking out more of Yuasa's tape music.

First up is Music For Space Projection, created for the 'Fiber Pavilion' at the 1970 World's Fair in Osaka.  A choppy brass fanfare announces the 15-minute hallucinatory nightmare of orchestral fragments and electronic sounds, like a much more striking, dramatic companion to Xenakis' Hibiki-Hana-Ma  from the same event.

Then there's two great examples of Yuasa's work produced in the NHK Electronic Music Studio in the 60s.  Voices Coming chops and mutates various snatches of telephone conversation, suddenly switching in its last four minutes to words of much more historical weight, focusing on speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr, this work coming from the year after his assassination.  Lastly, "Icon" On The Source Of White Noise from 1966 is fairly self-explanatory, and hisses with great clouds of processed sound for its 13 minutes.  A highly recommended introduction to a trailblazer in sonic manipulation.

mega / zippy

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for this! We uploaded some of Yuasa's works as part of the 'Obscure Tape Music from Japan' series over at our blog.

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    1. Nice one, that's me sorted for Yuasa for a while now! Have added Cellar to my blogroll, looks well worth full investigation.

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