This unique collaboration of three Japanese musicians (coming from quite different music background) tends to be the most radical and uncompromising one. It's really hard to explain what it's all about, it's too alien and very far from any rational thought you can imagine. For the unprepared listener, it can be very uneasy and helpless experience, but for me, it explains the very idea of avant garde music in our post modern age.
Kiyoharu Kuwayama began working with sound in the late 1980s, using half-scale violin and contact mic, daily junk and found objects. In 1999 he started improvised acoustic duo Kuwayama-Kijima, to bring their instruments (cello, viola, violin) outdoors and performed with environmental sound without audiences; they then recorded these performances for albums. Kiyoharu Kuwayama (cello) and Rina Kijima (violin) are formidable players, and so well attuned to each other that their improvisations cannot be distinguished from highly complex compositions. With a particular interest in ambient sound, and locations that inspire improvisation, they take advantage of the natural reverb of each location (for example, under a bridge at night), and change their position in it while playing, creating beautiful and charged performance. Between 1999 and 2003 Kuwayama organized the five day long "Lethe.Voice Festival" at an unused grain warehouse. Lethe is Kuwayama's solo project, well known for finding intensely resonant spaces or charged atmospheres: abandoned warehouses, Shinto temples and underground shelters. In these kind of super-resonant spaces Kuwayama has recorded his best work, the "Catastrophe Point" series – full of the empty rattle of abandoned industrial space, and carefully constructed scrape and clang of objects found around each location.
Hideaki Shimada is a Japanese violinist born in 1962, living on the West coast of Japan, in Kanazawa. In the late 70s he became interested in the European improvised music scene. Since 1980, he has been involved in violin improvisation. In 1985, he started solo project, Agencement, that creates multi-layered violin improvisations and records them on magnetic tape. In the late 80s, he was also doing some collaborations with Merzbow, Toukaseibunshi and other artists on Japanese noise scene. In his live performances, Shimada uses amplified acoustic violin and electronic equipment. Recently, Shimada performs live with various improvised music instrumentalists and plays both acoustic and electric violins. What Shimada gives us intellectually is quality in limited quantity – a maximum result from minimum effort. His solowork has been described as both noise and music, avantgarde and minimalist, nervous and mellow, frantic and still, hectic and calm. During recent 20 years, he released two LPs, "Viosphere" CD (1991) and "Boxe Consonantique" CD (2001) on his own Pico label.
During the 80s, Kiyoshi Mizutani was a member of Merzbow with Masami Akita – the man who’s name is often synonymous with Merzbow. In 1989, Mizutani started solo work and released his first LP "The Same Thing Makes Always Her Laugh". Afterwards, his records were published by Ulcer House, ZSF Produkt, Sounds For Consciousness Rape, Pure, Artware, Kaon, e(r)ostrate, Povertech Industries and Flenix Records. Mizutani's sound is characterized by use of primitive electric feedback and field recordings collected on his own. In his work, main interest is in the existence of the sound materials and how one perceives the material. The perception is included in the whole relation. Soundscape theory is integral to his work, that one catches the sound in social or natural relations. The sound is recognized as a signal, a message, or environment. Perhaps a good example is a bird's song that is both very interesting and tells something. And in many cases, bird songs also recognize our existence. Kiyoshi Mizutani's recent albums are "Bird Songs" (2000, Ground Fault), "Yokosawa-iri" (2002, CMR) and "Scenery Of The Border: Environment And Folklore Of The Tanzawa Mountains" (2005, and/OAR).
Kiyoharu Kuwayama: contact microphone, hand made electronics
Hideaki Shimada: violin, live electronics
Kiyoshi Mizutani: feed back, drumstick
Recorded at Gambetta, Tokyo, on November 18th, 2001
Remix by Kiyoharu Kuwayama, on May 04th, 2008