Monday, 28 September 2009

Sound Gardening #3



Arriving at the peaceful Kiyosumi gardens, I couldn't imagine how the Sound Gardening #3 experimental music event could be held here. The old lady at the entrance pointed us to the Kiyosumi-Teien Ryotei Tea Pavillon, a tea-house overlooking the pond at the back of the park. I peaked inside and didn't see any amps or speakers anywhere, but upon entering it all became clear - on cushions on the tatami floor were dozens of headphones!




We made ourselves comfortable on the floor, donned the headphones and enjoyed the first performance by Living Astro. They fiddled with knobs and played samples and beats, as well as playing bass and electric guitar through effects. Why their guitars had no heads, I don't know. Maybe they also play in a metal band? Thankfully they weren't too loud, seeing as we had no volume control on our headphones. I enjoyed their experimental/electronic/sample music which reminded me of Dymaxion.




After a brief orange juice and raisin break, veteran sample-based composer Carl Stone got on his laptop and produced a long minimal piece from a voice sample and various building, droning sounds. I stretched out on the tatami, closed my eyes and the meditative music had me dreaming of carp and clouds and moss. I couldn't imagine a better setting for such music, a piece Carl had composed specifically for the atmosphere of the tea house.

Sound Gardening is a regular event held in the Kiyosumi pavillon about once every two months. Look out for the next one on Tokyo Gig Guide and get tickets early, because seats are limited to 35.

Carl Stone will be playing in a trio with Otomo Yoshihide and Keiichiro Shibuya on October 16th at Super Deluxe. Details.

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