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Tsunoda, Toshiya / Taku Unami: Wovenland 2 [2 CDs] (erstwhile)

For their 2nd collaboration, sound artists Toshiya Tsunoda & Taku Unami present a series of acoustic experiments, each track using a single field recording — fishing spots, birds, a hiking trail, &c, — recording and manipulating those recordings using specific processes, seeking to emulate the way our minds process the senses that we encounter to create our perceived reality.

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product information:

Insert card explains the process used on each track.

Label: erstwhile
Catalog ID: Erstwhile 090-2
Squidco Product Code: 29741

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel


Toshiya Tsunoda-field recordings, mixing

Taku Unami-field recordings, mixing

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Artist Biographies:

"Toshiya Tsunoda (Kanagawa, 1964) is a sound creator known for works of field recording and collage. He studied oil painting at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he received his MFA. Aside from his work as a sound creator, he is also known for his wide-ranging activities as an installation artist and performer. By using small or contact microphones to produce his field recordings, Tsunoda's sound works capture the acoustic characteristics of spaces with dazzling clarity. These works show the ways in which particular vibrational phenomena shape the subjective experience of time and space. His exhibitions include "Soundings: A Contemporary Score" with Luke Fowler, MoMA, New York (2013), "Simple Interactions Sound Art from Japan," Museet For Samtids Kunst, Denmark (2011), Yokohama Triennale with Luke Fowler, Yokohama (2008) and "Half Life," Kilmartin Glen, Argyll, Scotland (2007). Tsunoda has also performed at Inverleith House, Edinburgh (2012) and Stuk Arts Centre, Leuven, Belgium (2010)."

-Toshiya Tsunoda Website (

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"Taku Unami was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1976. He is a composer and improviser working with assorted stringed instruments, including the guitar, mandolin, and contraguitar, laptop and vibrating objects (from which he amplifies the inaudible vibrations). Despite being linked to minimal improvisation his music is hardly classifiable, being able to surprise listeners on every new release, raising unforeseen questions and forging new paths for improvisation. He is part of the group HOSE and has active collaborations with Mattin, Taku Sugimoto and Masahiko Okura. In the past he has worked with Radu Malfatti, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Klaus Filip, Masafumi Ezaki, Burkhard Stangl, Rhodri Davies and Keith Rowe, among others. Unami has also composed for film, including 'Lost My Way' (directed by Takeshi Furusawa) and 'In 1,000,000 years' (directed by Isao Okishima). He has released more than 30 records, both solo and in numerous groups and collaborations. He runs the influential label Hibari Music and co-organizes the Tokyo concert series Chamber Music Concerts with Taku Sugimoto and Masahiko Okura."

-Taku Unami Facebook page, Jon Abbey (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:

CD 1 "Mad Pattisier"

1. Fishing Spot in Misaki Port / 500 ms / Three-Layer Freeze 08:01

2. Fishing Spot in Misaki Port / 5 secs / Three-Layer Freeze 08:01

3. In the Glass, Kaneda / Equalize the Total Amplitude ver. 1 08:01

4. In the Glass, Kaneda / Equalize the Total Amplitude ver. 2 08:01

5. In the Glass, Kaneda / Slope Extraction 08:01

6. Pigeon, with 05:23

7. Pigeon, without 05:23

8. Fireworks, with 08:03

9. Fireworks, without 08:01

10. Small Valley in Kaneda / 3 secs Freeze 08:00

CD 2 "Speed Freak"

1. Hiking Trail near Zushi High School / Playback Speed at 16x 01:48

2. Inside the Fish Market / Playback Speed Decreasing from 5x to 1x 02:00

3.Sugaruya / Crickets / Playback Speed at 1/5 06:01

4. Miyagawa Port / Playback Speed at 1/5 08:01

5. Fireworks / Playback Speed at 64x 00:26

6. Fireworks / Playback Speed at 128x 00:13

7. In the Glass, Kaneda / Playback Speed at 1/5 11:13

8. Nagaura Port / Playback Speed at 1/3, Time-Stretched without Pitch Shift 08:13

9. Overlooking Hasse / Playback Speed at 1/3 10:34

10. Jinmu-Ji Temple, Evening Cicadas / Playback Speed at 1/3 20:00
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The first words of Toshiya Tsunoda and Taku Unami's liner notes to the double CD under consideration here are, "Wovenland became a band." It should be noted that Wovenland was the name of an earlier album by Tsunoda and Unami, the digipak's spine still credits this recording to the two individuals. And while it is within Unami's skill set to pick up a guitar and play a song, nothing like that happens on Wovenland 2. The notes continue: "Our band activities are mainly editing in a studio. Our goal is to focus on acoustic experiments. No more and no less."

What makes this a band is an overlap of aesthetics and intentions. Both Tsunoda and Unami employ field recordings, and each is quite mindful of the influence that different recording choices exert upon the sound being recorded. But neither treats these concerns as ends. Tsunoda captures essences of place; Unami, who also plays packing materials, synthesizer and guitar in other settings, invites the audience to be aware that they are directing attention to something. Their first recording presented, according to Dusted's Marc Medwin, "jump-cut juxtapositions of environmental conglomerations, or inter-weavings... with location recordings overlayed or subjected to more radical manipulations." In other words, the sounds of unrelated places and things were woven together.

But now that they're a band, they've focused their investigation on the interactions between accurately captured sounds and the human processes that interpret and distort them. The first disc, subtitled Mad Patissier, runs similar inputs through related but contrasting processes. The first two tracks, for example, take the same recording of a fishing spot and runs it through a series of analyses. The variables include changes in sound, who often that change is measured and outputted, and who frequently the output was split into three layers. Maybe your band talks about who gets to solo when; apparently, these guys discuss what numbers go into the equation. Depending what numbers Unami and Tsunoda select, the same source material might reveal pigeons in a birdhouse, or a fine spray of gray noise. A recording of a public event might reveal crowd sounds, or the loudest part of firework explosions.

The second disc, entitled Speed Freak, captures the band in boys-will-be-boys mode. Readers who grew up with turntables will likely recall the hilarity that ensued when they and their friends started playing records at the wrong speed. Well, imagine the possibilities when you're working with digital recordings and playback technology. They did. What if you take those fireworks and run them at 64 times the original speed? What happens if you double that? What do you get when you slow down a recording of cicadas grinding out their night songs? These questions are all premises for individual tracks, but the results are not as academic as you might expect. For just as a good song-oriented band doesn't just play any song any old way if it wants to keep making records, Unami and Tsunoda have only shared the cool sounds on Wovenland 2. It turns out that slowed-down crickets are pretty hypnotic, and that fireworks played at 128 times their original speed still deliver a jolt."-Bill Meyer, Dusted Magazine

Insert card explains the process used on each track.

Get additional information at Dusted Magazine
Related Categories of Interest:

Field Recordings
Electroacoustic Composition
Japanese & Asian Improv/Rock
Duo Recordings
New in Experimental & Electronic Music
Friends of Squid

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