Yumiko Tanaka (Futozao Shamisen, vocal). Yumiko Tanaka made her mark as a traditional shamisen artist specializing in the female-school gidayu style. Tanaka was a member of Otomo Yoshihide's Ground-Zero in 1996-'97, and she is currently involved in a number of fields, ranging from contemporary classical music to free improvisation to avant-garde theater. Among her many international activities, one of the most notable is her participation -- as both musician and actress -- in German composer Heiner Goebbels' acclaimed play Hashirigaki (now on a world tour). Surprisingly, this energetic and multi-faceted musician has to date released no solo or leader recordings -- making this collection of 10 totally improvised solo works a debut CD of sorts. On Tayutauta, Tanaka uses the gidayu shamisen in ways that leave traditional playing methods far behind. Here, the instrument's characteristic flavor is nowhere to be found. The performances -- which incorporate such techniques as plucking, bowing, and the use of 'prepared' objects -- are calm and sedate, but suffused with a strong feeling of cohesion backed by Tanaka's distinctive musical stance and sensibility. This is improvised music of rare quality.
Cat. number: IMJ 507