The Squid's Ear Magazine


Sugimoto, Taku: Octet (Meenna)

Part of Japanese composer Taku Sugimoto's Solo for Strings series, these works focus on bowed stringed instruments played only with natural harmonics, arranged with clarinets and flute, using long tones and repetition that allow the performer decisions on their length, performed by a Berlin-based octet including Catherine Lamb, Johnny Change, Samuel Dunscombe, &c.
 

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Personnel:



Taku Sugimoto-composer

Rebecca Lane-flute

Michiko Ogawa-clarinet

Samuel Dunscombe-bass clarinet

Johnny Chang-violin, viola

Catherine Lamb-viola

Lucy Railton-cello

Jon Heilbron-contrabass

Fredrik Rasten-guitar


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Label: Meenna
Catalog ID: meenna-961
Squidco Product Code: 31795

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: Japan
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at KM28, and The Crystal Ball, in Berlin, Germany, by Sam Dunscombe.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"For the past three years I have been fascinated with composing pieces that can each be played simultaneously with the other ones. I started composing this type of music when I was down with influenza at the beginning of 2018. I recovered within a couple of days, but one night I found that a melody was repeating in my brain. I tried to memorize the melody and wrote it down the next morning. It became "Solo for Violoncello 1," the first piece in the Solo for Strings series. While this Solo for Strings series focuses on bowed stringed instruments played only with natural harmonics, the pieces in the Nexus series were composed not only for bowed strings but also for guitar and voice, and there are no tones played with harmonics.

The pieces of these series have some common features: Though the pitches of tones are fixed, the lengths of tones are written only relatively-longer or shorter than one another. The number of repetition times is not specified, so the performers can decide the length of both the tones and the performance depending on the situation.

When I was asked by Michiko Ogawa and Sam Dunscombe to write a composition for their ensemble, I conceived the idea that it would work well to make use of the pieces in the Solo for Strings series, because at that time the specification of the strings parts, i.e., who was to play which instrument, was not fixed. I was pretty sure the Solo for Strings series would fit well in that situation. Then "Trio for Flute, Clarinet, and Bass Clarinet" was written for the wind players, Michiko (clarinet), Sam (bass clarinet), and Rebecca Lane (flute), and "Solo for the E String of Guitar 2," the latest piece of the Solo for Strings series, was written for Fredrik Rasten (guitar). This CD presents "Trio for Flute, Clarinet, and Bass Clarinet" and five solo pieces from the Solo for Strings series, as well as "Octet," which is the all-at-once version consisting of these single pieces.

On this album, works composed in 2018 and '19 by Tokyo-based composer/guitarist Taku Sugimoto are performed by musicians based in Berlin. Sugimoto has in recent years been working on a series in which pieces written as scores for solo performance can also be played as ensembles, with each musician using their respective solo score. For example, a score for guitar solo and a score for cello solo can be played as a duo performance by a guitarist and a cellist using their respective scores. "Solo for Violoncello 1," one of the tracks on this CD, is the first work of this type composed by Sugimoto. It's also the first piece in the series he named "Solo for Strings," which is performed on bowed stringed instruments using only natural harmonics. In the pieces in this series, the lengths of tones and performances can be changed by the performers.

When he was asked by Berlin-based clarinetists Michiko Ogawa and Sam Dunscombe to write a composition for their ensemble, Sugimoto thought of using the pieces in the "Solo for Strings" series. He prepared one piece for wind instruments to be performed by the trio of Ogawa (clarinet), Dunscombe (bass clarinet) and Rebecca Lane (flute), and five solo pieces from "Solo for Strings"--one each for contrabass, cello, and guitar, and two for viola. These pieces were performed and recorded in Berlin. Also recorded was the 25-minute work "Octet," performed by an ensemble of eight musicians using all six scores. This album is comprised of these seven pieces."-Taku Sugimoto


Artist Biographies

"Taku Sugimoto is a Japanese guitarist.

He initially gained attention in the late 1990s for his restrained, melodic playing, unusual in the world of free improvisation. Critic Bruce Russell describes this era of Sugimoto's music by writing: "Sugimoto is perhaps the pre-eminent stylist on the guitar ... He brings a golden glow to every session he partakes in, having abandoned amped up noise in favour of a much more introspective and calligraphic style of play."

Around 2002 his music became increasingly abstract, all but eliminating melody and featuring extended periods of silence.

He has collaborated with other Japanese musicians involved in the Onkyo movement, such as Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura and Otomo Yoshihide. He has also collaborated with musicians from European free improvisation scenes, notably trombonist Radu Malfatti and guitarist Keith Rowe."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taku_Sugimoto)
2/28/2024

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Rebecca Lane is a flute and bass flute performer from Melbourne who is currently based in Berlin.

-Squidco 2/28/2024

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"Michiko Ogawa is a musician specializing in using clarinet and sho, born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. She performs not only classical repertoire but also contemporary and experimental musics, including free improvisation.

She has appeared at the Tokyo Experimental Festival (2013), Darmstadt summer music festival (2014, 2016), Supersense Festival of Ecstatic Music (Melbourne, Australia 2015), the Monday Evening Concert series (Los Angeles, 2016), WasteLAnd (Los Angels, 2016), Inland (Melbourne, 2015, 2016), BIFEM (Bendigo, Australia 2016, 2017) , Maerzmusik 2018 (Berlin), and performed with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra (2009). She has worked with composers including Toshi Ichiyanagi, Helmut Lachenmann, Richard Barrett, Hunjoo Jung , Cat Lamb and Chikako Morishita, and with performers including Charles Curtis, Anthony Burr, Erik Carlson, Greg Stuart, Taku Sugimoto, Vicki Ray, Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, Shalini Vijayan among others.

She also has been collaborating with Samuel Dunscombe, Taku Sugimoto, James Rushford, Carolyn Chen and Manuel Lima. also with some visual artists, Angela Jennings, Lindsay Bloom and Brianna Rigg.

Currently, Michiko is a doctoral candidate (DMA) at the University of California (San Diego), under Prof. Anthony Burr with dissertation focusing on Teiji Ito and his music. She was awarded her bachelors degree at Toho Gakuen University, under prof. Yoshiaki Suzuki, and a masters degree at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, under Prof.Jorg Widmann. Michiko was awarded second place in the Carl-Seemann Preis (2007), and performed as a representative of the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg at the 55th German Music University Competition in the same year. She worked as an associate-in for teaching clarinet at the University of California (San Diego)."

-Weebly (http://enogawamichikocl.weebly.com/)
2/28/2024

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"Samuel Dunscombe is a composer-performer specialising in the use of clarinets, computers, and microphones. From free improvisation to field recording and the performance of contemporary classical repertoire, Samuel is involved in a diverse range of activities. Some highlights include:

Performances at the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (Australia), Tokyo Experimental Festival (Japan), Tectonics (Tel Aviv, Athens), World Music Days (Slovenia), Kontraklang (Berlin), Supersense (Australia), Monday Evening Concerts LA (USA), Athens Slingshot Festival (USA), Toronto Electro-Acoustic Symposium (Canada), STEIM (Holland), Cave12 (Switzerland), Adelaide / Melborne / Sydney International Arts Festivals (Australia).

Free improv collaborations with Seijiro Murayama, Toshimaru Nakamura, Ishikawa Ko, Richard Barrett, Tim Olive, Tetuzi Akiyama, Yoshimoto Yumiko, Mitsui Yoshiko, Murmur Collective, Kyle Motl and Tatsuya Nakatani, Golden Fur.

Premier performances of works by Anthony Pateras, Chikako Morishita, Rebecca Saunders, Wojtek Blecharz, David Chisholm, Jacob Ullman, Cat Hope, Iancu Dumitrescu, Ana Maria Avram, Elise Roy, Hunjoo Jung, Rohan Drape, Maya Dunietz, Carolyn Chen, Eva-Maria Houben.

Special performance projects based around works by Pierluigi Billone (1+1=1), Horatiu Radulescu (Capricorn's Nostalgic Crickets; Inner Time).

Ongoing collaborative projects with Klaus Lang, Dennis Cooper, Benedetta De Alessi, Golden Fur (with James Rushford and Judith Hamann), Rebecca Lane, Eva-Maria Houben, Hunjoo Jung, Seijiro Murayama.

Artist talks, guest lectures, and conference presentations at the Sound of Memory Symposium (Goldsmiths, London), Oberlin College (Ohio, USA), Musashino Art University (Tokyo, Japan), Hearing Landscapes Critically (Harvard, USA), Affective Habitus (ANU, Australia), RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia), CALIT2 IDEAS (San Diego, USA).

Field recording projects with Francisco Lopez (Mamori Art Lab), Kate Clark (Parking Lot Park), and an ongoing quixotic attempt to single-handedly create a total sound map of the entire state of California.

Samuel is an ABD (all but dissertation) candidate at UCSD (University of California, San Diego) for a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in performance. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Art (Sound) from RMIT University (Melbourne), and Masters and Bachelors degrees in Music Performance from the VCA in Melbourne, Australia. In 2015, Samuel was a visiting doctoral fellow at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern, where he worked with Ernesto Molinari."

-Samuel Dunscombe Website (http://www.samueldunscombe.com/about/)
2/28/2024

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"Berlin-based composer-performer Johnny Chang engages in extended explorations surrounding the relationships of sound/silence and the in-between areas of improvisation, composition, performance and listening. Current collaborations/projects include: Antoine Beuger, Alessandro Bossetti, Lucio Capece, Olivier Di Placido, Jürg Frey, Chris Heenan, Christian Kesten, Annette Krebs, Luke Munn, Koen Nutters, Michael Pisaro, Derek Shirley."

-Johnny Chang Website (https://johnnychchang.wordpress.com/)
2/28/2024

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"Following interacting points within expanding harmonic space, Catherine Lamb has devoted her structural work to the inner life of tonality, constantly searching through the limits of human perceptions and resonances in overlaying atmospheres.

Lamb's continued series Prisma Interius (2016-ongoing), made with her partner and frequent collaborator Bryan Eubanks, filters the outside environment into a harmonic field, basso continuo, tanpura, or bridge between the musical form and the perceptual listening space. Her first orchestral work, Portions Transparent/Opaque (2014), was premiered by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the 2014 Tectonics Festival in Glasgow, Scotland. After an extended tour of her solo work Shade/Gradient (2012) through North America in 2012, Lamb received a travel grant from the Henry Cowell Foundation, allowing her to pursue work with Eliane Radigue and to form new relationships with European musicians.Earlier in her career, Lamb studied under composers James Tenney and Michael Pisaro at the California Institute of the Arts, where she also met director and dhrupadi Mani Kaul. It was during this time that she began diving deeply into her own practice of what she later termed "the interaction of tone."

Lamb is the co-founder of Singing by Numbers (2009-11), an experimental vocal ensemble formed with Laura Steenberge that focused on pedagogical research around pure ratio tuning. She has written for ensembles such as Ensemble Dedalus, Konzert Minimal, the London Contemporary Orchestra, NeoN, Plus/Minus, and Yarn/Wire. Lamb is involved in ongoing research with Marc Sabat on intonation; with Johnny Chang on Viola Torros; develops work regularly with musicians such as Rebecca Lane, Dafne Vincente-Sandova, and Frank Reinecke; as well as taking part in Triangulum with Julia Holter and Laura Steenberge.

Lamb is the recipient of a fellowship from Akademie Schloss Solitude (2016); an Emerging Composers Grant from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode and William and Flora Hewlett Foundations (2008-09); and was a Staubach Fellow at the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany (2016). Lamb's writings and recordings have been published by another timbre, Black Pollen Press, Kunst Musik, NEOS, THE OPEN SPACE Magazine, Q-O2, sacred realism, and winds measure recordings.She received a B.M. from California Institute of the Arts, and an M.F.A. in music/sound from Bard College."

-Foundation for Contemporary Arts (https://www.foundationforcontemporaryarts.org/recipients/catherine-lamb)
2/28/2024

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

"Lucy Railton is a British cellist and composer whose work bridges experimental electronic and electroacoustic practices with modern classical composition and performance. Since graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in 2008, Railton has worked as a cofounder and director of the London Contemporary Music Festival, played with electronic producers as varied as Peter Zinovieff and Beatrice Dillon and performed works by avant-garde artists such as Iannis Xenakis and Morton Feldman. In March 2018, she released her debut solo album, Paradise 94, on the Modern Love label. As she explores her interest in electroacoustic music, improvisation and modified cello, Railton's sound is an absorbing, often extreme examination of the potential of an acoustic instrument."

-Last.FM (https://www.last.fm/music/Lucy+Railton/+wiki)
2/28/2024

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

"Jon Heilbron is an Australian Double Bass player, improviser and composer, working within the areas of contemporary classical, improvised and experimental music. Jon has performed both as a soloist and with various groups in Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Denmark, Israel, Russia, Norway, Austria and Singapore.

As an interpreter of contemporary music, he has performed with Klangforum Wien (Austria), Apartment House (UK), Kammerensemble Neue Musik (Germany), An Assembly (UK), Ensemble Soundinitiative (France) Konzert Minimal (Germany) and Ensemble Schallfeld (Austria).

He has presented music at festivals including the Darmstädter Ferienkürse (Germany), Archipel Geneva (Switzerland), Wien Modern (Austria), Manifeste Paris (France), the Impuls festival, Graz (Austria), The Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (Australia), SpinaFest in St. Petersburg (Russia) and the Multiversal Festival in Copenhagen (Denmark).

He is active within improvised and experimental music with his collaborative groups Ellipsis, Arches, DRUM and doubleFRAU, and is the founder of the Phonetic Orchestra, an ensemble made up of some of Melbourne's most innovative emerging Improvisers, composers and performers."

-Jon Heilbron Website (http://www.jonheilbronmusic.com/about.html)
2/28/2024

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Fredrik Rasten, guitarist / improviser / composer "I am a Norwegian guitarist (b. 1988) working in the field of experimental music, both improvised and composed. My main focuses are exploring and utilizing the acoustic possibilities of the steel string guitar, motivated by a fascination for the almost tactile experiences of acoustic phenomena. The last months I have been working extensively with intonation, with an extended concept of consonance as a point of departure, both in solo work and in duos with trumpeter Torstein Lavik Larsen and bass player Jonathan Heilbron. I have also had the lucky opportunity to take lessons in this field with composer and violist Catherine Lamb.

Other music that I am inspired by includes wandelweiser music, traditional british folk and early music."



"Fredrik Rasten works with acoustic guitar and in exploring the possibilities for putting this instrument in new musical contexts. With extensive use of preparations and different non-tempered tunings, he creates warm sounds in gradual development. He also includes subtle use of the voice to make interfering thick timbres and tonalities in combination with the guitar. A goal for the music is to open a room for details that invites the listener inside the musical material in an active and exploring way.

He is also playing composed music, especially related to quiet / Wandelweiser music and Just Intonation music, and has performed pieces by Johan Lindvall, Antoine Beuger and Catherine Lamb."

-Fredrik Rasten Website (http://fredrikrasten.com/)
2/28/2024

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Track Listing:



1. Octet (24:56)

2. Trio for Flute, Clarinet, and Bass Clarinet (4:27)

3. Solo for Contrabass 2 (5:30)

4. Solo for Violoncello 1 (7:01)

5. Solo for Viola 1 (3:03)

6. Solo for Viola 2 (3:10)

7. Solo for the E String of Guitar 2 (3:07)

Related Categories of Interest:


Compositional Forms
Stringed Instruments
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Octet Recordings
Japanese & Asian Improv/Rock
New in Compositional Music
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