Guitarist, violinist and instrument builder Tetuzi Akiyama (JP, 1964) is one of the key figures in the Japanese improvisation scene. During the 1990s he worked closely with Taku Sugimoto, Keiji Haino, K.K. Null and Toshimaru Nakamura. Together they started the influential concert series ‘The Improvisation Meeting’ in Bar Aoyama. Akiyama’s music is rooted in American psychedelic rock, country and blues, styles which he systematically strips of their rock mythology, intuitively deconstructing and pushing them to the verge of abstraction. He plays the guitar with a primitive mind, looking for inherent sounds and possible playing areas, a method he also applies to other instruments and objects, such as record players and vacuum cleaners. Without a doubt Jozef van Wissem (NL, 1962) plays the least obvious instrument in the world of contemporary improvisation: the lute. And yet he skilfully manages to span a bridge between the 17th and 21st century, by radically reinterpreting the specific timbres, resonances and techniques of the instrument. In the process he stears clear of the traditional lineary progression and experiments with palindromes, mirror structures and cut up techniques.

The sound explorations of the Basque filmmaker, cultural theoretician and computer musician Mattin (SP) are based on resistance and dialectics, on the dynamics between extremely high and low volumes, but also between the digital and physical sounds of a computer. He sees the computer not merely as an abstraction, as a magical collector’s box of algorithms, but rather as an object which he examines on the basis of its sound potential. In that sense his style has a lot in common with electro-acoustic improvizers, such as Radu Malfatti and Eddie Prévost, with whom he has collaborated closely already. His love of extremes, particularly shaped as uncompromising noise, can be heard in his projects with Junko (JP), the voice of the infamous Japanese collective Hijokaidan, which has been causing a stir since the end of the 1970s with their anarchist, sound barrier challenging performances. Junko neither sings, nor recites but, just like Yoko Ono or Diamanda Galas, she explores the limits of the voice, the dark regions where nothing but mere despair, fear and salvation resounds. The third member of this trio, multi-instrumentalist and music commentator Michel Henritzi (FR, 1959), is looking for his own take on musical primitivism. He is one of the most active members of the French underground scene and over the past thirty years he was involved in countless bands, collaborations, fanzines and labels, including his own A Bruit Secret label. With Mattin he shares an anti-establishment attitude, which becomes apparent from polemical stances to the political dimensions of improvisational music.

Co-production with (K-RAA-K)3

Related events

This event is part of Open Archive #1 : Trajectories in Audiovisual Art and Culture

Tetuzi Akiyama & Jozef van Wissem