A collection of small tape music pieces by the legendary composer and pianist Yuji Takahashi. All of them are premiere release on disc.
tr.1 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 (1973)
It 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 traditional instrument.