Edition of 300 copies, historical recordings from 1991, as the composer wrote "the music was performed by myself, solo. Recorded live at my former apartment in New York". Composer, per former, conceptualist, improvisor, installation artist and violinist Takehisa Kosugi has been an important, though shadowy presence in the world of avant garde music since the beginning of the 1960s. This is one of the few authorized 'live' recordings - Kosugi has long been ambivalent about the value of audio documentation. Consequently, many of his most important and representative recordings have remained stubbornly out of print, much whispered about but unavailable save to those blessed with inordinate luck or very deep pockets. Albums like Catch Wave (1975), or those by his peripatetic multimedia improvisation group The Taj Mahal Travellers assumed the status of legend among collectors of rock esoterica.
Slipping between genre, media and continents, raising and transcending borders and boundaries has been one of Kosugi’s raisons d’être. His music, for example in the longform and distinctly psychedelic improvisations of The Taj Mahal Travellers collective, blurs the lines of demarcation between composition and per formance, aural and the visual, acoustic and electric, between academic conceptualisation and physical experience. Kosugi’s work has always been driven by an unchanging desire to realign and revitalise human sensibility, to jolt the mind out of its ruts through the operations of chance and spontaneity. The strategies he has devised to achieve his ends are core to the experience of the 20th century avant garde – chance, multiplicity, improvisation, indeterminacy, mixed media, the importance of environment and place.
The live prerformance documented here is made using pre-recorded environmental sounds (birds) recorded in the city of Ferrara, in Italy, various noises [live broadcasting sound on WCbs Radio, New York], sounds from the actual performance [a plastic bottle in which a small microphone is installed for pick up voice & other sounds], Electronics [Audio Generator], effects [Time-delay Machine, Pitch Shifter]