Monday, February 5, 2007

Toshi Ichiyanagi - Opera from the works of Tadanori Yokoo, 2LP,1969, Japan (NWW list!)






Born in 1933 in Kobe, Japan, Toshi Ichiyanagi studied composition with Kishio Hirao and John Cage, and piano with Chieko Hara, Barnhard Weiser and Beveridge Webster. After attending the Julliard School of Music and the New School for Social Research in New York between 1954-60, he returned to Japan in 1961, and introduced many new musical concepts, including Cage's idea of indeterminacy, exerting a strong influence on the direction of Japanese contemporary music.
As one of the leading composers in Japan, Ichiyanagi has composed in most genres of music: operas, orchestral, chamber and instrumental works. Among his major works are his Violin Concerto "Circulating Scenery" (1983), Piano Concerto No.2 "Winter Portrait" (1987) and Opera "Momo" (1995), based on a novel by Michael Ende. While composing these large-scale pieces, he also became known for his compositions using Japanese traditional instruments such as sho and gagaku ensemble. Many of them have been performed throughout the world, especially by the Tokyo International Music Ensemble - an organization where he serves as Artistic Director.
Ichiyanagi won the Elizabeth A. Coolidge Prize (1954) and the Serge Koussevitzky Prize (1956) during his studies in New York. He was also a member of Fluxus. Since his return to Japan, he has received numerous awards including the prestigious Nakajima Kenzo Award (1984), the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French Government (1985) and Grand Prix of the Kyoto Music Award (1989). In 1990, he was awarded the Otaka Prize for the fourth time, for his unique symphony "Berlin Renshi".
His recent works include "Coexistence" for ondes martenot and orchestra (1996), Symphony No.5 "Time Perspective"(1997), "Coexistence" for orchestra (1997) and "Mirage" for shakuhachi and piano (1998).Ichiyanagi was married to Yoko Ono from 1956 to 1963.
A review
"one of Japan's most in demand and ultimate great psych meets avant-gardedementia artifacts. Forget all the rest, this is IT. Without a single doubtone of the greatest mind-blowing psych and Fluxus artifacts to ever have hitthe streets. Housed in lavishly designed 2LP foldout jacket, this gorgeousdisc is one of the rarest and most sought after Japanese psychedelic,avant-garde artifacts, a real art object art, revitalizing one of Japan's bestever psychedelic avant-garde head-on collisions. Released in 1969 on theprivate End Records and now one of Japan's most sought after vinylartifacts, 'Opera from the Works of Tadanori Yokoo by Toshi Ichiyanagi' is abrain ripper and an eye popper of a disc. Visually it is without a singledoubt one of the most beautiful LPs ever to be released, a 2 LP picturedisc decorated lavishly by Tadanori Yokoo's Fluxus inspired psychedelicartwork. Upon folding open the disc, you get treated to a 4 paged innerbooklet of 24 carefully designed postcards depicting posters done byTadanori up until 1969 for various theatre troupes such as Terayama Shuji'sTenjosajiki. In short it is a visual delight that will cause temporarydysfunctional catharsis on the eyes. But apart from the visual grandeur andoverload you are bound to be hit senseless with, the music embedded withinthis LP set and accompanying picture discs is so overwhelming you will havea hard time trying to come to terms with it upon attempting to digest itproperly. In one word: sensory nimiety on all fronts. The man responsiblefor it was avant-garde composer Ichiyanagi forging a diabolical pact withthe psyched-out band the Flowers (spearheaded by Uchida Yuya) andillustrator Tadanori. Together they delivered (with the help of otherluminary artists coming out of various fields such as Kara Juro, TakakuraKen as the most prolific ones) an unique amalgamated mixture of lysergicdemented psychedelic assault-like stunt rock, a aural whirlwind filled withacid folk ramblings, tape collages, field recording excerpts, radiocommercial snippets, roaring jet engines, electronic music excursions intothe vast unexcavated canyons and dungeons of your mind, squealing soundfragments of frogs mating in a nearby pond, drowned out enka escapades,kayokyoku excursions into no mans land, Takakura Ken nasal singing, spokenword fragmentation bombs by Kara Juro amongst others, traffic noises, sonicsound clusters of blistering fuzzed out psychedelic mayhem, stratosphericstatic electronic hissing, radio news broadcast flashes, vintage electronictape music escapades, chirping cricket orchestras in a distant backgroundand so much more non-adaptive and deranged sonic activity. This disc leavesno stone unturned and is probably one of the best records ever made. Uponlistening to this, you hardly need anything else anymore. HighestRecommendation. Rare as hell does not even come close to describing thescarceness of this 2 LP picture disc set and then I am not even mentioningthe visual splendor of the overall packaging music and museum piecequalities all folded up into one single item, the dream artifact of everyself-respecting lover of outward sounds and collective deranged discs highest rank of collectibility and musical demented splendor a killer onall fronts that no other disc can match"

8 comments:

Greg Sinora said...

Excelllent! This is a beast! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I hope this was transferred from the vinyl and not the 4 CD disc set reissue. The 4 CD set was sonic awful.

john said...

Wow, lots of great stuff to download off your site today, I can tell my computer's going to be busy! Thanks for the Toshi Ichiyanagi, if possible I hope you can follow it with some J.A. Caeser, Tenjo Sajiki or early Tokyo Kid Brothers. Personally, I find the theatrical stuff to be the most interesting/mysterious aspect of the Japanese psyche scene.

mark godwin said...

this is an astounding blog...
there seems to be an industry in the NWW list...
do you have an album
Lucifer:Black Mass

squeaky said...

you can download a torrent for Tadanori Yoko animations here.
threehttp://greylodge.org/gpc/?p=809#comments

Anonymous said...

To the guy complaining about the 4CD sound versus an original; where do you think the 4CD comes from? The vinyl is a 1969 picture disc for crying out loud! (And yes, I own the box and have heard an original copy as well.)

Will said...

I'm a little late here, but I scanned the postcards included in the reissue and put them on my (mostly book-centered) blog A Journey Round My Skull. (Link will bring you right to them.)

As for my love of Mutant Sounds, I am bonkers over the Bobby Beausoleil stuff, and I listened to Ann Steel's song "My Time" about a thousand times this summer. Eternal thanks.

gainesburger said...

Could you please repost the second part of this link. I think the file might be corrupted.