Takehisa Kosugi - Live Improvisations
Takehisa Kosugi (1938-2018) first emerged onto Japan’s avant-garde music scene during the 1960s as a meter of the country’s first improvisational music collective, Group Ongaku, as well as being an important contributor to the Fluxus movement. In 1969, he founded The Taj Mahal Travellers – leaving his mark on the wilder avenues of psychedelia forever – before, in 1975, embarking on his first solo album, Catch Wave.
Over the late 70s and across the 80s and 90s, Kosugi produced a small number of solo releases – partially due to his focus on live performance and general ambivalence regarding the value of audio documentation – as well as a few collaborations with seminal figures like Toshi Ichiyanagi, Michael Ranta, Steve Lacy, Yuji Takahashi, Akio Suzuki, and a handful of others.
This is a double LP, the first LP captures the composer performing live in his apartment in New York, and represents one of only a handful of authorized recordings of its kind. Utilizing pre-recorded environmental sounds recorded in the city of Ferrara, in Italy, various noises, sounds from the actual performance [a plastic bottle in which a small microphone is installed for pick up voice & other sounds], electronics, and a time-delay machine and pitch shifter, the work channels Kosugi’s long-standing desire to realign and revitalize human sensibility by jolting the mind through the operations of chance and spontaneity. This piece stretches across 2 sides, gathering intricate, environmental ambiances and captured sonic fragments, deftly manipulated and infiltrated by electronic pulses and various other interventions.
The second LP has a never before released recording of a live improvisation made by Kosugi and composer Ted Szànto, entitled Unnamed Information (I, II, III), made in Amsterdam on June 12, 1979, with Kosugi on violin & electronics and Szànto on tapes & electronics. The work’s 3 movements range from arrangements of electronic noise and tonality to a vocalised musique concrete.