Yuji Takahashi, Joji Yuasa

Yuji Takahashi CD “Meikai no Heso” Edition Omega Point

A collection of small pieces of tape music by renowned composers, that haven’t been talked about very much. All of them are premiere release on disc.

tr.1 Yuji Takahashi (1938 -), Meikai no Heso (The Umbilicus of Limbo, 1963)

It is also known as Window to Antonin Artaud, or The Umbilicus of Limbo. it was performed in a version of tape and instruments – poetry reading of the French poet Antonin Artaud, which was modified on the tape, and bass instruments as well as percussion instruments. This is a live recording of Musicians Group: New Direction at Sogetsu Art Center, conducted by Toshi Ichiyanagi. At the beginning of the concert, Kuniharu Akiyama gave his commentary about the piece.

tr.2 Kuniharu Akiyama (1929 – 1996), Jo-un Keiji sho (1987) It is a segment of a body of work Sound Gift, that was commissioned by WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) for a show to celebrate John Cage’s 75th birthday. A short text, “Kumo Kumo-wo Joshi Keiji-suru (Kumo=Clouds, Keiji=Cage)”, which was a poetry reading by Akiyama, was looped in the tape, which then overlapped with Haiku about clouds (including English and German), words related to Zen ( in which Cage immersed himself), and sounds. By the way, an English version of Haiku was read by Ayuo Takahashi.

tr.3 Yoriaki Matsudaira (1931 -), Constellation (1984)

This is a work by using UPIC device developed by Iannis Xenakis (which can translate graphical images into sound). Here is Matsudaira’s commentary.

“I decided to draw the constellation which we can see in Japan, and chose to fade in colours depending on the brightness of each star. Each of us was supposed to indicate the tone by images, and I remember that I decided to divide the sky into four sections to change the tone little by little.

tr.4 Yoshio Hachimura (1938 – 1985), Catch in the air (1973It was produced in 1973 at NHK Studio of Electronic Music. Some Japanese traditional instruments, piccolo, tuba, violin, piano as well as electronic sounds were edited on the tape. Its sharp materialistic sound is characteristic of this composer.

tr.5 Toshi Ichiyanagi (1933 -), Music for Film Shikisokuzekuu (1974) The visual of Shikisokuzekuu is described as follows; A letter of Heart Sūtra is projected one by one on the screen rapidly. From the middle of the film, religious paintings appeared with subliminal effect, and flickering vivid colours were added. That gave the audience a dizzy sensation.” The music is mixed barbaric rhythm, electronic sound and Japanese traditionalnt.

$20

Special edition with bonus CDR $35

Somei Satoh CD “Echoes” – Edition Omega Point

Emerald Tablet + Echoes

$22

Kuniharu Akiyama CD “Environmental Music of dining Room” Edition Omega Point

$22

Joji Yuasa CD “Music for film Gengitsu” Edition Omega Point

In 2017, Genjitsu was shown at the Kobe Planet Film Archive. It is a film created in 1966 by a director Tetsuji Takechi, known as a legend of Showa eroticism. But this film has been hidden somewhere somehow from the public for a long time. The film’s story focuses around a prostitute and has a strong fantasy literature style to it as one may have guessed from its title Genjitsu (Sun dog; an optical phenomenon that consists of a light source alongside of the Sun in rare climate condition).

Actually, among some music tapes that I got from Mr. Yuasa, there was indeed one with the same title. However, since the existence of the tape recording was unknown at the time, I was convinced that it wasn’t “tape music” and I left it untouched for quite a while. Hearing news of the film screening made me check what is on this tape carefully. Overall, the sounds were “prosy” with a lot of silence as well as reoccurring sounds of a prepared piano and sounds created presumably by playing inside of the piano (it is likely to have been amplified). But they were also an accumulation of experimental sounds with elements of tape music such as parallel playback with vocal pieces, delay (or tape echo) and ring modulator. In chapter 2, female jazz vocal is inserted.

According to the Kobe Planet Film Archive, the following names are included in the players list. Toshi Ichiyanagi (maybe inside play of piano), Masao Yagi (jazz piano in chapter 2), Yasukazu Amemiya (percussion).

Fantastic !

Regular edition $20

special edition with bonus CDR $50

Joji Yuasa Kuniharu Akiyama CD “Music for puppet Thetre Hitomi-za” Edition Omega Point

$20

Joji Yuasa CD “Ai no ue” Editions Omega point

2nd Edition

Aoi no ue composed 1961 for voice and tape and based on The tales of Genji written by Murasaki Shikibu in 11th century.
My blue sky (No.1) composed 1975 for tape.

Tape parts realized at NHK Electronic music studio.

Edition Omega Point Archive Series OPA-001.
Limited edition of 500 copies.

$20

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