Friday, January 24, 2020

ENSEMBLE MUSICA NEGATIVA ‎– Music Before Revolution (Odeon-EMI/4LP-1972)




Label: Odeon/EMI Electrola ‎– 1C 165-28954/7
Format: 4 × Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Box Set / Country: Germany / Released: 1972
Style: Contemporary, Experimental, Interview
Engineer [Recording] – Johann Nikolaus Matthes, Kurt Lorbach
Liner Notes – Heinz-Klaus Metzger
Producer [Recording] – Lieselotte Montes-Baquer
Matrix / Runout (Runout, side 1, stamped): 1C 165-28 954/7 Y – LP1- A
Matrix / Runout (Runout, side 2, stamped): 1C 165-28 954/7 Y – LP1- B
Matrix / Runout (Runout, side 3, stamped): 1C 165-28 954/7 Y – LP2 - C
Matrix / Runout (Runout, side 4, stamped): 1C 165-28 954/7 Y – LP2 - D
Matrix / Runout (Runout, side 5, stamped): 1C 165-28 954/7 Y – LP3 - E
Matrix / Runout (Runout, side 6, stamped): 1C 165-28 954/7 Y – LP3 - F
Matrix / Runout (Runout, side 7, stamped): 1C 165-28 954/7 Y – LP4 - G
Matrix / Runout (Runout, side 8, stamped): 1C 165-28 954/7 Y – LP4 – H

Please note, many Odeon issues also carry an EMI logo. It indicates that Odeon was part of the EMI Group.

side 1:
A1 - John Cage: Credo in Us ........................................................................................ 16:10
A2 - John Cage: Imaginary Landscape No.1 .................................................................. 7:35
        Orchestra – Ensemble Musica Negativa
        Conductor – Rainer Riehn
        Percussion – Burkhard Wissemann, Michael Dietz
        Piano – Christoph Keller
        Turntables [Phonograph], Electronics [Radio] – Johann Nikolaus Matthes

side 2:
B1 - John Cage: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra / Solo For Voice I-II .................... 18:00
B2 - John Cage: Rozart Mix .......................................................................................... 7:20
        Orchestra – Ensemble Musica Negativa
        Conductor – Rainer Riehn
        Piano – Hermann Danuser
        Voice – Bell Imhoff, Doris Sandrock

side 3:
C  -  Earle Brown: Folio ................................................................................................ 23:40
        Ca - October 1952, Cb - November 1952, Cd - December 1952, Ce - MM-87,
        Cf - MM-135 March 1953, Cg - Music for "Trio for Five Dancers" June 1953
        Orchestra – Ensemble Musica Negativa
        Conductor – Rainer Riehn, Earle Brown
        Piano – Hermann Danuser

side 4:
D1  -  Earle Brown: Four Systems .................................................................................. 6:51
D2a - Christian Wolff: In Between Pieces For Three Players I ...................................... 8:50
D2b - Christian Wolff: In Between Pieces For Three Players II ...................................... 4:30
D3  -  Christian Wolff: Electric Spring 2 .......................................................................... 6:45
          Orchestra – Ensemble Musica Negativa
          Conductor – Earle Brown
          Cello – Wilhelm Schulz
          Double Bass, El. Bass Guitar – Timm-Johannes Trappe
          Organ – Gerhard Stäbler
          Guitar [Electric] – Jörg Trappe
          Recorder – Rainer Riehn
          Trombone – Bernt Laukamp

John Cage, Morton Feldman, Earle Brown, Heinz-Klaus Metzger
Christian Wolff, Toshi Ichiyanagi

side 5:
E1 - Morton Feldman: For Franz Kline ......................................................................... 11:20
E2 - Morton Feldman: The Straits of Magellan .............................................................. 5:12
E3 - Morton Feldman: Between Categories ................................................................. 12:15
        Conductor – Rainer Riehn
        Cello – Frank Wolff, Wilhelm Schulz
        Chimes – Michael Dietz, Burkhard Wissemann
        Horn – Jakob Hefti
        Piano – Heinz-Klaus Metzger, Christoph Keller, Morton Feldman
        Soprano Vocals – Bell Imhoff
        Violin – Ulf Klausenitzer, Hans-Peter Friedrich
        Double Bass – Timm-Johannes Trappe
        Flute – Karlheinz Wiberny
        Guitar [El.] – Klaus-Ulrich Dorn
        Harp – Brigitte Deshais du Portail-Sylvestre
        Trumpet – Paul Knill

side 6:
F1 - Toshi Ichiyanagi: Sapporo .................................................................................... 13:56
F2 - Toshi Ichiyanagi: Life Music ................................................................................. 14:22
        Orchestra – Ensemble Musica Negativa
        Conductor – Rainer Riehn

side 7:
G  -  Conversations with John Cage, Christian Wolff, Hans G Helms ......................... 26:00

side 8:
H  -  Morton Feldman, Earle Brown, Heinz-Klaus Metzger in discussion .................... 28:30



VERY RARE BOX SET
Excellent and highly sought after recordings of these seldom seen contemporary works featuring ENSEMBLE MUSICA NEGATIVA with conductets by RAINER RIEN & EARLE BROWN. EMI Electrola gold label, first German release. 4LP box set complete with two inserts.
The set includes a booklet and a transcript (English and German) of conversations and discussions on LP 4 (sides G / H).




Note:
Toshi Ichiyanagi  I 1st heard his music on the "Music Before Revolution" box-set in 1972, then in 1975 as part of "Extended Voices". Both were extremely important to me. The 2 pieces on the box-set, "Sapporo" & "Life Music" were almost completely unlike anything I'd ever heard before. They sounded like some sort of primordial playpen where almost every sound seemed on the fringe of technique. - like the sounds were just coming into being They were unpredictable & very, very alive.
Ichiyanagi studied with both Henry Cowell & John Cage, presumably at the New School for Social Research in NYC.

Incredible recording. Enjoy!



If you find it, buy this album!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

TORU TAKEMITSU – [武満徹の作業] Works Of Toru Takemitsu - 1 (LP-1966)




Label: Victor ‎– VX-20
Series: Contemporary Music Of Japan – 1
Format: Vinyl, LP, Stereo / Country: Japan / Released: 1966
Style: Musique Concrète, Contemporary, Experimental
Manufactured By – Victor Musical Industries, Inc.
Stereo-Orthophonic High Fidelity.  His Master's Voice
Design – Kohei Sugiura
Engineer [Recording] – Takashi Watanabe
Producer – Jun Taki
Liner Notes – Kuniharu Akiyama
Matrix / Runout (Runout, Side A, Stamped): VX-20 – VLY 1055 122+ 1DCSCDFG II I OA
Matrix / Runout (Runout, Side B, Stamped): VX-20 – VLY 1056 152+

side 1:
A1 - Requiem For Strings .......................................................................................... 9:55
A2 - The Horizon, Dorian - 8 Harmonic Pitches With 9 Echoes ............................... 11:05
        Conductor – Hiroshi Wakasugi
        Orchestra – Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra

side 2:
B  -  Coral Island For Soprano And Orchestra ......................................................... 16:40
        Conductor – Hiroshi Wakasugi
        Orchestra – Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra
        Soprano Vocals – Mutsumi Masuda

ComposerToru Takemitsu


Takemitsu’s interest in a wide variety of artistic expressive forms and his individual sense of freedom developed through his autodidacticism shaped the character of his avant-garde style.




As early as 1950, he utilised a tape recorder to create musical collages from “real” sounds ("musique concrète": Water Music, 1960; Kwaidan, 1964). In the early 1960s, two new elements appeared in Takemitsu’s works: on the one hand, traditional Japanese music (November Steps – for biwa, shakuhachi and orchestra) in the form of the deliberate juxtaposition of Eastern and Western musical culture and, on the other hand, the musical representation of natural phenomena (ARCI for orchestra, 1963-1966). Representations of the art of Japanese gardens through the utilisation of symbolic musical metaphors are frequently encountered in his compositions.



If you find it, buy this album!

SANO KIYOHIKO [佐野清彦] – Kiui (ALM Records ‎– AL-3008-9 / 2LP-1979)




Label: ALM Records ‎– AL-3008-9
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan
Released: 1979
Style: Experimental, Free Improvisation
Collection of works from 70 to 79 years, released 1979.
Manufactured By – Kojima Recordings, Inc.
1-sided fold-out insert with detailed description of tracks in Japanese, red and grey art work
Matrix / Runout (Runout, etching, side 1): ALM-1 – AL-3008-A
Matrix / Runout (Runout, etching, side 2): ALM-1 – AL-3008-B
Matrix / Runout (Runout, etching, side 3): ALM-2 – AL-3009-A
Matrix / Runout (Runout, etching, side 4): ALM-2 – AL-3009-B

side 1:
A1 - Anonimus ............................................................................................................ 9:30
A2 - Gap ................................................................................................................... 10:30
A3 - Cue ..................................................................................................................... 5:50

side 2:
B1 - Toss-up .............................................................................................................. 10:00
B2 - For TRAZOM ...................................................................................................... 9:00
B3 - URN .................................................................................................................... 8:20

side 3:
C1 - Source ............................................................................................................... 13:40
C2 - Space ................................................................................................................ 12:30

side 4:
D  -  KIUI ................................................................................................................... 29:50

Performers – Kiyohiko Sano, Masami Tada, Masaru Soga and others



"Kiui" Avant/Experimental Music Double LP Album. Alm Records AL-3008-9. Japanese Pressing from late 1970's. Includes an informative insert.




Kiyoshihiko Sano who led the free improvisation orchestra "GAP" (short for Ground Apple Practice) together with Masaru Soga, who participated in "Line Music" by Jo Kondo, and Masami Tada of East Bionic Symphonia. This work is a collection of works from 70 to 79 years before GAP formation. Although it is a solo name, GAP plans to publish records. There is no context connecting each song, and trial and error in performance and composition are recorded, and there are also songs in which Masaru Soga and Masami Tada are participating, so there is a glimpse of the background directly connected to GAP.

ENJOY!



If you find it, buy this album!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

TORU TAKEMITSU – [武満徹の作業] Works Of Toru Takemitsu - 4 (LP-1966)




Label: Victor ‎– VX-23
Series: Contemporary Music Of Japan – 4
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1966
Style: Contemporary, Classical, Free Improvisation
Manufactured By – Victor Musical Industries, Inc.
Stereo-Orthophonic High Fidelity.  His Master's Voice.
Design – Kohei Sugiura
Photography By – Kiyoshi Otsuji
Engineer [Recording] – Takashi Watanabe
Producer – Jun Taki
Liner Notes – Kuniharu Akiyama
Translated By – George Saitô
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, stamped): VX-23 – A / VLY 1063 122+ I OA GF
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, stamped): VX-23 – B / VL Y 1064 152+

side 1:
A1 - Piano Distance ................................................................................................... 4:38
A2 - Pause Uninterrupted .......................................................................................... 7:50
        piano – Yuji Takahashi
A3 - Le Son Calligraphie No.1 for 8 strings ................................................................ 3:23
A4 - Le Son Calligraphie No.3 for 8 strings ................................................................ 2:37
        conductor – Hiroshi Wakasugi
        cello – Akiyoshi Kudo, Tadao Takahashi
        viola – Aya Tanaka, Junko Edo
        violin – Kenji Kobayashi, Mari Hirao, Miyuki Togawa, Namiko Umezu

side 2:
B - Eclipse For Shakuhachi And Biwa ...................................................................... 16:00
      biwa – Kinshi Tsuruta
      shakuhachi – Katsuya Yokoyama

ComposerToru Takemitsu

Takemitsu's compositional journey is fascinating because his relationship with western music and his native musical traditions shows just how limiting are the categories of east and west when it comes to thinking about music's development in the 20th century.


Takemitsu's enthusiasm saw him investigate electro-acoustic music in his early 20s (this was roughly the same time that Pierre Schaeffer was doing a similar thing in Paris), which led him to compose music in an explicitly modernist idiom. He was crazy about the Viennese School composers at the time. An encounter with Stravinsky, who had heard his 1957 Requiem for Strings and taken the young composer out to lunch because he admired the piece so much, was one catalyst for his musical life.
Another of Takemitsu's influences was the music of John Cage in the early 60s. Takemitsu began to explore aspects of indeterminacy in his work (the improvised sections of From Me Flows What You Call Time, for example, are down to this approach – even if Takemitsu's controlled aleatoricism has more in common with Witold Lutosławski than Cage). But it was also thanks to Cage's Zen-inspired ideas about music and the world, Takemitsu explained, that "I came to recognise the value of my own tradition".
The other seismic moment for Takemitsu was seeing a performance of Bunraku puppet theatre and, a couple of decades after the war, opening his heart at last to the beauty of his homeland's musical traditions. "I got a shock … I suddenly recognised I was Japanese."
From the 60s on, Takemitsu's musical project would be to combine elements of Japanese music with the western modernism he loved so much. The blend is apparent in pieces such as November Steps, composed for biwa (the Japanese lute he studied intensively), shakuhachi and orchestra. The effect is more profound than a fuzzy fusion of styles; Takemitsu uses the timbre and texture of the two Japanese instruments to make the whole orchestra breathe and glow with gossamer lightness, something he continues in a later work for the same instruments called Autumn.




But the real substance of Takemitsu's Japanese heritage can't be reduced to an instrument, a colour or even a harmony. There's something more fundamental about his understanding of music; something that informs his work whether he's writing for solo piano, a film score for Akira Kurosawa (he wrote music for more than 100 movies), a string quartet or a concerto. It's something expressed by the Japanese word "ma", which suggests the concept of a void that isn't empty, an absence that is really a presence, a space between things that is full of energy. It's a principle that underpins Japanese gardens, with which Takemitsu often compared his music. "My music is like a garden, and I am the gardener. Listening to my music can be compared with walking through a garden and experiencing the changes in light, pattern and texture." And yet it's also a way of thinking that is by no means exclusive to Takemitsu in contemporary music; it suggests the same circular, non-hierarchical sense of structure and time that composers from Anton Webern to Pierre Boulez, György Ligeti to Steve Reich have explored.
The idea of a meaningful void is worth keeping in mind when you're listening to music Takemitsu wrote in the last two decades of his life. His pieces are rarely long (From Me Flows What You Call Time is among the longest, at around half an hour), they are seldom fast and rarely overtly demonstrative – but they do weird things with time. Listen to his piano concerto, Riverrun (the title comes from Finnegan's Wake), or Quatrain (scored for clarinet, cello, violin, piano and orchestra) or his violin concerto Far Calls. Coming, Far! (another Joyce-inspired title), to experience what I mean. There's a lot to get to grips with in his output: as well as the catalogue of concert pieces, there are those film scores (start with Kurosawa's Ran), as well as music for radio, theatre and television.


Very subtle and specific music by the great Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu.



If you find it, buy this album!

TOKK-ENSEMBLE TOKYO – Music For Living Process... (V–SJX-7539 / LP-1976)




Label: Victor – SJX-7539
Format: Vinyl , LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1976
Style: Contemporary, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Victor Studio, October 27, 28 & 29, 1975, Tokyo, Japan.
Design – Kazuhiko Muranaka
Engineer [Recording] – Takashi Watanabe
Recording Supervisor [Recording Director] – Toru Yamazaki
Liner Notes – Yoshiro Irino
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, stamped): SJX 7539-A - 111+ E 1
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, stamped): SJX 7539-B - 111+

side 1:
A1 - Toshi IchiyanagiMusic For Living Process ................................................... 13:30
         Harp – Ayako Shinozaki
         Percussion – Yasunori Yamaguchi
         Piano, Composed By – Toshi Ichiyanagi
         Shakuhachi – Katsuya Yokoyama
         Violin [Electric] – Takehisa Kosugi
A2 - Yoshiro IrinoStrömung ................................................................................. 11:10
         Composed By – Yoshiro Irino
         Flute – Hiroshi Koizumi
         Harp – Ayako Shinozaki
         Percussion – Yasunori Yamaguchi

side 2:
B1 - Maki Ishii  Nucleus .......................................................................................... 12:53
         Biwa – Kinshi Tsuruta
         Composed By – Maki Ishii
         Flute – Hiroshi Koizumi
         Harp – Ayako Shinozaki
         Shakuhachi – Katsuya Yokoyama
B2 - Toru TakemitsuMunari By Munari – Corona For Pianist .............................. 12:95
         Composed By – Toru Takemitsu
         Percussion – Yasunori Yamaguchi
         Piano, Celesta,
         Harpsichord [Cembalo] – Toshi Ichiyanagi

Track B2: The two compositions "Munari by Munari" and "Corona For Pianist" are performed simultaneously.On the release this is indicated by printing the titles one below the other, connected by squared brackets.


Massive and mythic album featuring: Toshi Ichiyanagi, Yoshiro Irino, Maki Ishii, Toru Takemitsu, among some more big names Takehisa Kosugi,  Yasunori Yamaguchi, Ayako Shinozaki, Katsuya Yokoyama, Hiroshi Koizumi, better known as TOKK-Ensemble Tokyo.
Not only there are famous names but compositions are great classics and these versions are quite unknown.



Four Japanese avant-garde composers' work is presented, a side each, on this edition Victor– SJX-7539 LP. Beautifully produced, this label specializes in high standard productions, with a striking design that is as modern and oblique as the music they present. On album "Music for Living Process..." all four composers present pieces that reflect a prominent influence of John Cage, which can be accredited to the fact that Ichiagi was a premier interpreter of Cage's music. The experimental work for violin and biwa incorporates elements of chance and improvisation; traditional Japanese modes working in conjunction with distinctly European techniques make for an elating display of premium music...

We move on (very carefully) with important Japanese rarities.
Listen to this incredible album.



If you find it, buy this album!

UEMATSU, TAKAO QUARTET/QUINTET – Debut (Three Blind Mice ‎– 3 / LP-1970)




Label: Three Blind Mice ‎– TBM-3
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1970
Style: Post Bop, Contemporary Jazz
Recorded 19 Nov. 1970 at Nippon Hoso (1st Studio), Tokyo, Japan.
Art Direction – Ben Nishizawa
Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Yoshihiko Kannari
Producer – Takeshi Fujii
Matrix / Runout: (Side 1 Runout Stamped): a 949 T
Matrix / Runout: (Side 2 Runout Stamped): a 950

side 1:
A1 - Inside Parts  (T. Uematsu) ................................................................................ 11:09
A2 - Stella By Starlight  (V. Young) ............................................................................ 9:31

side 2:
B1 - T.I.  (Y. Suzuki) ................................................................................................... 8:46
B2 - Sleep, My Love  (Y. Suzuki) ............................................................................... 7:48

Personnel:
Takao Uematsu – tenor saxophone
Sadayasu Fujii – electric piano [fender piano]
Yoshio Suzuki – bass
George Otsuka – drums, percussion
Takashi Imai – trombone (B1, B2)

This is where it all started... The legendary independent jazz label Three Blind Mice was established in 1970, with a clear mission of introducing true talents without consideration for commercialism...


A great debut from Japanese tenorist Takao Uematsu – a player who blows here with a wonderful sense of tone right from the start – almost an inherent sense of spiritualism that he still manages bring to tunes with a straight ahead swing! The approach is a bit like Archie Shepp in that cool stretch when he was stepping away from the outside – and Uematsu's clearly a player who knows the far reaches, but often just hints at them in his music – while moving through these long-blown lines spurred on by a really wonderful group! The combo features excellent Fender Rhodes from Sadayasu Fujii – who stretches out on the long tracks on the set – plus trombone from Takashi Imai, bass from Yoshio Suzuki, and drums from George Otsuka. Titles include "TI", "Sleep My Love", "Stella By Starlight", and "Inside Parts".    (Dusty Groove, Inc.)





It has stood the test of time, and even today, sounds fresh, exciting and just plain brilliant.



If you find it, buy this album!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

KOSUKE ICHIHARA [市 原 宏 祐] – Departure / Introducing Kosuke Ichihara (CBS/Sony - SONP 50296-L / LP-1971)




Label: CBS / Sony - SONP 50296-L
Series: SX68Sound -, Sound Adventure Series -
Format: Vinyl , LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1971
Style: Avant-garde, Modal, Free Improvisation
Recorded at CBS/Sony Studio, Roppongi, Tokyo on October 10-13, 1970.
Design [Cover] - Mitsuru Yamada
Photography By - Hozumi Nakadaira
Engineer [Recording] - Mitsukazu Tanaka , Ryusuke Sase
Producer - Koji Amenomori
Supervised By - Shoichi Yui
Directed By - Shinichi Hashimoto
Gatefold sleeve with insert.
Title given in katakana as "デパーチャー/イントロデューシング"
Matrix / Runout (Runout, Etching, Side A): 50296-A1 IA3
Matrix / Runout (Runout, Etching, Side B): 50296-B1 IA3

side 1:
A1 - Nothing On Either Side ..................................................................................... 11:24
A2 - Flow, As They Flow ............................................................................................ 6:14

side 2:
B1 - The Lupus ......................................................................................................... 11:35
B2 - Elegy ................................................................................................................. 11:22

Music and Arranged By – Masahiko Sato

Personnel:
Kosuke Ichihara – tenor saxophone, sopranino saxophone, flute
Masahiko Sato – fender piano
Masaoki Terakawa – bass
George Otsuka – drums, percussion
Hiroki Tamaki / Seiichiro Yamamoto – violin
Osamu Suzuki – viola
Toshibumi Waki – cello

This is the first work as a leader by Love Live Life leader and tenor Kosuke Ichihara. The composition is Masahiko Sato, who participates in the electric piano. One from the CBS-SONY Sound Adventure series.



This work is often described as avant-garde jazz, but Love Live Life (3L) has a strong New Rock color, but this is the basic while still incorporating the latest sounds of modal, free, electric, etc. It is composed of jazz idiom, and you can see that 3L is in a different line.
There are two compositions on page A, the first "Nothing On Either Side" is a song, piercing with a free-form ad-lib from, a brilliant opening for the track "Flow, As They Flow" a beautiful ballad with a delicate touch.




Side B begins with "The Lupus", maestral groovy funky tune, and the album ends with 11+ minutes "Elegy" featuring a flute with a conceptual flow with avant-garde touch strings on the front and back. It is finished in a joyful work where you can feel the excitement of interplay in the midst of tension.
All the compositions are very attractive and well thought out, and the overall flow is wonderful. It is one that can be enjoyed by Kosuke Ichihara and Masahiko Sato at the peak...

Another rare Japanese beauty. ENJOY!



If you find it, buy this album!