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Pisaro, Michael / Taku Sugimoto: 2 seconds/b minor/wave (erstwhile)

Beautiful, subtle improvisations from electronic artist Michael Pisaro and guitarist Taku Sugimoto, who composed & recorded their tracks separately and collaborated on the mixing.

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product information:

Label: erstwhile
Catalog ID: Erstwhile 061
Squidco Product Code: 13849

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2010
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded separately by Michael Pisaro and Taku Unami.


Michael Pisaro-electronics

Taku Sugimoto-guitar

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track listing:

1. 2 seconds 20:02

2. b minor 20:02

3. wave 20:00

Related Categories of Interest:


Electro-Acoustic Improv
Improvised Music
Electronic Forms
Guitarists, &c.
Free Improvisation
Duo Recordings

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Michael Pisaro and Taku Sugimoto are not generally closely associated, but have quite a bit in common. Both are composers whose primary instrument is the guitar, both have close ties to the Wandelweiser collective (Pisaro is a longtime member), and both have pursued their unique paths without much concern as to how the rest of the world will perceive them. 2 seconds/b minor/wave marks their first collaboration, but these aesthetic overlaps allow their independently conceived recorded parts to fit together remarkably naturally.

Michael Pisaro has been associated with the Wandelweiser collective since just after their formation in the early nineties. The departure points for his music were John Cage's ideas of the durational frame, Ben Johnston's work with alternate tunings, Christian Wolff's opening of the relationship between composition and performance, and Alvin Lucier and James Tenney's use of scientific hypotheses to explore sound phenomena. Pisaro has spent much of the last decade making field recordings, and occasionally using them in his work. Much of his recent composition, and especially the work with his primary collaborator, percussionist Greg Stuart, has concerned the massing and then the spatialization of sound to create 'homemade' environments. Pisaro lives in Southern California, teaching at the California Institute of the Arts, running the Experimental Music Workshop, and curating his own recently launched recording imprint, Gravity Wave. This is his first recording for Erstwhile.

Currently Sugimoto's interest focuses on composition and its performance, rather than improvisation. With Taku Unami and Masahiko Okura, Sugimoto organizes the almost-monthly Chamber Music Concert at Loop-Line and the irregular Taku Sugimoto Composition Series at Kid Ailack Art Hall, both in Tokyo. He runs the label Slub Music, which in addition to Sugimoto's own recordings has released CDs by other Japanese musicians as well as Wandelweiser mainstays Radu Malfatti and Antoine Beuger. He has just issued the first four discs compiling the abovementioned Composition Series, a strong statement on two double CDs documenting his work over the past few years. This is his second recording for Erstwhile after 2000's seminal The World Turned Upside Down, and he also took part in the AMPLIFY 2002 festival in Tokyo and is featured on the box set of that event.

2 seconds/b minor/wave is a long distance collaboration, with each musician composing and recording their own parts, before hearing what the other had done. Pulse, pitch and wave were the three areas they wanted to explore on the three pieces, and loose rules/guidelines were agreed on beforehand, as follows: '2 seconds' was a unit of pulse, either as a basic unit or a point of departure; 'b minor' was a key, with Sugimoto playing harmony and Pisaro playing melody: and 'wave', with no further details, simply whatever that word brought to mind. This was the extent of the specific discussion between the two, and thus the entirely fluid melding of the results is a testament to their deep understanding of the other's aesthetic/s. Yuko Zama's intuitively empathetic design is a perfect symbiotic fit for the music contained within."-erstwhile records

Artist Biographies:

"Michael Pisaro was born in Buffalo in 1961. He is a composer and guitarist, a member of the Wandelweiser Composers Ensemble and founder and director of the Experimental Music Workshop, Calarts. His work is frequently performed in the U.S. and in Europe, in music festivals and in many smaller venues. It has been selected twice by the ISCM jury for performance at World Music Days festivals (Copenhagen,1996; Manchester, 1998) and has also been part of festivals in Hong Kong (ICMC, 1998), Vienna (Wien Modern,1997), Aspen (1991), London (Cutting Edge, 2007), Glasgow (INSTAL 2009), Huddersfield (2009), Chicago (New Music Chicago, 1990, 1991) and elsewhere.

He has had extended composer residencies in Germany (Künstlerhof Schreyahn, Dortmund University), Switzerland (Forumclaque/Baden), Israel (Miskenot Sha'ananmim), Greece (EarTalk) and in the U.S. (Birch Creek Music Festival, Wisconsin). Concert length portraits of his music have been given in Munich, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, Vienna, Merano (Italy), Brussels, New York, Curitiba (Brazil), Amsterdam, London, Tokyo, Austin, Berlin, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Zürich, Cologne, Aarau (Switzerland), and elsewhere.

He is a Foundation for Contemporary Arts, 2005 and 2006 Grant Recipient. Much of his music of the last several years is published by Edition Wandelweiser (Germany). Several CDs of his work have been released by such labels as Edition Wandelweiser Records, Compost and Height, confront, Another Timbre, Cathnor, Nine Winds and others, including most recently "transparent city, volumes 1-4", "an unrhymed chord", "hearing metal 1", "A Wave and Waves" and "harmony series (11-16)".

His translation of poetry by Oswald Egger ("Room of Rumor") was published in 2004 by Green Integer. He is Co-Chair of Music Composition at the California Institute of the Arts near Los Angeles. He has performed many of his own works and those of close associates Antoine Beuger, Kunsu Shim, Jürg Frey and Manfred Werder, and works from the experimental tradition, especially John Cage, Christian Wolff, James Tenney and George Brecht."

-Edition Wandelweiser (

Other Releases With These Artists:
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