In recent years, guitarist Taku Sugimoto has been active as a composer, providing works to musicians inside and outside Japan, and also as an improvisational musician. He often works with composers and musicians in the sphere of the Wandelweiser school, and gives many performances overseas. Sugimoto is also a member of the Suidobashi Chamber Ensemble, which is made up of five Japanese musicians.
This CD, Sugimoto’s first release since Septet (on Meenna) in 2015, is made up of two versions, both about 30 minutes long, of his 2017 composition “Quintet,” recorded in Berlin and San Diego (U.S.A.). It is performed by five musicians on flute, two clarinets, violin and cello. Track 1, the Berlin version, is a live performance that took place on August 6, 2017. Track 2, the San Diego version, was studio-recorded on March 15, 2017. Clarinetists Samuel Dunscombe, from Australia, and Michiko Ogawa performed on both tracks. Other performing musicians were Rebecca Lane (flute), Johnny Chang (violin), and Lucy Railton (cello) in Berlin; and Michael Matsuno (flute), Erik Carlson (violin), and Judith Hamann (cello) in San Diego. Sugimoto composed the work but did not participate in the performances. The frequently overlapping and interfering long tones and the short tones nonchalantly plucked on the strings continue throughout the performances. Simple structural beauty and a tranquil resonance pervade the performances. A masterpiece.