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Catalog ID: ErstLive005
Squidco Product Code: 4737
Format: 3 CDs
Packaging: Box Set
Keith Rowe-guitar, electronics
Sachiko M-sine waves, contact microphone on objects
Toshimaru Nakamura-no input mixing board
Otomo Yoshihide-electric guitar, turntables
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Sound, Noise, &c.
Asian Improvisation & Jazz
Objects and Home-made Instruments
descriptions, reviews, &c.
"ErstLive 005 is from the quartet of Keith Rowe, Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura, and Otomo Yoshihide, the centerpiece show of AMPLIFY 2004: addition, the "four hour quartet", and contains three individually packaged slimline CDs in a slipcase with original artwork by Keith Rowe, which wraps around the entire box, front, side, and back, as well as liner notes from all four musicians and numerous pictures from Yuko Zama. This release documents only the second performance of this quartet, after a brief set in Cologne the week before."-Erstwhile
• Show Bio for Keith Rowe
"tabletop guitarist and painter. Rowe is a founding member of both the influential AMM in the mid-1960s (though in 2004 he quit that group for the second time) and M.I.M.E.O. Having trained as a visual artist, Rowe's paintings have been featured on most of his own albums. After years of obscurity, Rowe has achieved a level of relative notoriety, and since the late 1990s has kept up a busy recording and touring schedule. He is seen as a godfather of EAI (electroacoustic improvisation), with many of his recent recordings having been released by Erstwhile Records.
Rowe began his career playing jazz in the early 1960s-notably with Mike Westbrook and Lou Gare. His early influences were guitarists like Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian and Barney Kessel. Eventually, however, Rowe grew tired of what he considered the form's limitations. Rowe began experimenting, slowly and gradually. An important step was a New Year's resolution to stop tuning his guitar-much to Westbrook's displeasure. Rowe gradually expanded into free jazz and free improvisation, eventually abandoning conventional guitar technique.
This change in his approach to guitar, Rowe reports, was partly inspired by a teacher in one of his painting courses who told him, "Rowe, you cannot paint a Caravaggio. Only Caravaggio can paint Caravaggio." Rowe reports that after considering this idea from a musical perspective, "trying to play guitar like Jim Hall seemed quite wrong." For several years Rowe contemplated how to reinvent his approach to the guitar, again finding inspiration in visual art, namely, American painter Jackson Pollock, who abandoned traditional painting methods to forge his own style. "How could I abandon the technique? Lay the guitar flat!"
Rowe developed various prepared guitar techniques: placing the guitar flat on a table and manipulating the strings, body and pick-ups in unorthodox ways to produce sounds described as dark, brooding, compelling, expansive and alien. He has been known to employ objects such as a library card, rubber eraser, springs, hand-held electric fans, alligator clips, and common office supplies in playing the guitar. A January 1997 feature in Guitar Player magazine described a Rowe performance as "resemble a surgeon operating on a patient." Rowe sometimes incorporates live radio broadcasts into his performances, including shortwave radio and number stations (the guitar's pick-ups will also pick up radio signals, and broadcast them through the amplifier).
AMM percussionist Eddie Prévost reports that Rowe has "an uncanny touch on the wireless switch", able to find radio broadcasts which seem to blend ideally with, or offer startling commentary on, the music. (Prévost, 18). On AMMMusic, towards the end of the cacophonous "Ailantus Glandolusa", a speaker announces via radio that "We cannot preserve the normal music." Prevost writes that during an AMM performance in Istanbul, Rowe located and integrated a radio broadcast of "the pious intonation of a male Turkish voice. AMM of course, had absolutely no idea what the material was. Later, it was complimented upon the judicious way that verses from The Koran had been introduced into the performance, and the respectful way they had been treated!" In reviewing World Turned Upside Down, critic Dan Hill writes, "Rowe has tuned his shortwave radio to some dramatically exotic gameshow and human voices spatter the mix, though at such low volume, they're unintelligible and abstracted. Rowe never overplays this device, a clear temptation with such a seductive technology - the awesome possibility of sonically reaching out across a world of voices requires experienced hands to avoid simple but ultimately short-term pleasure. This he does masterfully, mixing in random operatics and chance encounters with talkshow hosts to anchor the sound in humanity, amidst the abstraction." "
Some accounts report that Rowe's guitar technique was an influence on Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett: "Taking his cues from experimental guitarist Keith Rowe of AMM, Barrett strived to push his music farther and farther out into the zone of complete abstraction."
Rowe has worked together with numerous composers and musicians, including Cornelius Cardew, Christian Wolff, Howard Skempton, Jeffrey Morgan, John Tilbury, Evan Parker, Taku Sugimoto, Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M, Oren Ambarchi, Christian Fennesz, Burkhard Beins, Kurt Liedwart, Toshimaru Nakamura, David Sylvian and Peter Rehberg.-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Rowe)
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• Show Bio for Toshimaru Nakamura
"Toshimaru Nakamura is a Japanese musician, active in free improvisation and Japanese onkyo.
He began his career playing rock and roll guitar, but gradually explored other types of music, even abandoning guitar, and started working on circuit bending. He uses a mixing console as a live, interactive musical instrument: "Nakamura plays the 'no-input mixing board', connecting the input of the board to the output, then manipulating the resultant audio feedback."
Nakamura's music has been described as "sounds ranging from piercing high tones and shimmering whistles to galumphing, crackle-spattered bass patterns."
Nakamura founded the ensemble A Paragon of Beauty in 1992. He has recorded solo albums, worked as a session musician, and collaborated with artists including Sachiko M ("a kindred spirit"), Otomo Yoshihide, Keith Rowe, John Butcher, Nicholas Bussmann, Taku Sugimoto, Tetuzi Akiyama, dancer Kim Ito, and drummer Jason Kahn."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toshimaru_Nakamura)
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• Show Bio for Otomo Yoshihide
Otomo Yoshihide - born in 1959 in Yokohama, Japan. As a teenager, he spent time in Fukushima. Staying independent, he has consistently composed a wide range of music from improvisation to noise music and pop, and his music talent has spread all over the world. He has a successful career as a film score composer and has produced more than 70 movie soundtracks. In recent years, he has produced special type of concerts and musical works in collaboration with other various artists under the name of "ensembles". In addition, one of his priorities is,producing musical workshop projects involving handicapped children. In 2011, after the Great East Japan Earthquake , he started "PROJECT FUKUSHIMA!" along with people in various sectors. He has been active beyond the music scene and this is the reason that he has attracted a great deal of attention. In 2012, he received the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts in the category of Promotion for "PROJECT FUKUSHIMA!". In 2013, he received various prizes including the Japan Record Award for his accomplishments, such as composing the theme music for the TV drama "Amachan".
"I use my real name "Otomo Yoshihide" as my stage name. When you write your Japanese name in English alphabet, many people often write their given names first, then their family names, following in the Western traditional culture. But originally, some Asian countries, including Japan, write their family names first, and then their given names follow after that. In my opinion, there is not only one standard for people's names and we should respect the values each person attaches to their name. Calling someone by his first name is a wonderful custom in Western culture to express familiarity with each other but that custom is not necessary in Japan because nobody has ever called me by my first name. It does not mean that people are unlikely to become close friends with me. It is just that calling me "Otomo" seems easier. There are some places with such customs in the world; where people friendlily call you by your family name. I am definitely not a nationalist but I have a feeling that something is wrong with those people who do not only disregard the tradition I am familiar with, but would rather follow Western standards.
For this reason, I would like to continue using the notation "Otomo Yoshihide" as before. When you call me, please call me "Otomo" as before. This will not cause any problems in its use. Until now, many people have written my name "Yoshihide Ōtomo" or "Yoshihide Otomo" but please understand those notations are not my intention. I am sincerely grateful for your consideration."-Otomo Yoshihide Website (http://otomoyoshihide.com/en/?page_id=4)
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