The “Mori Art Museum” will open in the center of Tokyo in October 2003. As a commemorative release of the CD “Open Mind” (the museum pre open plan) the “Open Mind Live Event” was performed at “Roppongi Hills Information Center/THINK ZONE” December 21.

The released CD “Open Mind” introduces the recent trend of sound/noise music and media art produced by young Japanese creators. This CD contains sound works by Keiichiro Shibuya, Kozo Inada, Masami Akita (Merzbow), Takamasa Aoki, Miroque, Portable[k]ommunity,

NUMB, and Ryoji Ikeda, and software works by Ages 5&UP, Ryota Kuwakubo, exonemo and Portable[k]ommunity.

At this live performance, we were able to experience the performance by the luxurious lineup of exonemo and Ryota Kuwakubo, who participated in software works and “L?K?O” as a special guest, in addition to all the sound work participants except Ryoji Ikeda.

Right) exonemo

At the beginning is exonemo who put on a display of activity, mainly on net art. This time they invited Kuknacke and Yasunori Kakegawa to be the guest player. They brought us a performance by the laptop + images + electric base guitar with original software. It was a bit different from the usual web browser works, and I look forward to the next step. Their CD collected software work “FragMental Storm 02” cutups material on the internet with the user keyword, and it surprised us with unexpected image generation from simple keyword.


Next, Portable[k]ommunity who also put software work in the CD. In addition to the usual sound and images, they did a performance that hit the eardrum directly. After preparing the eardrum, the sounds made from analog oscillator sweep radiated from the loud speaker systems. I watched people who enjoyed the sound with surprise, those who plugged their ears, and those who left unable to endure the sound and so on. It may be the part both for and against the performance. I think this work has significance as a point of giving strong impression on with a body and a perception.

Left) Ryota Kuwakubo, Right) Miroque

Ryota Kuwakubo who was known as a device artist played with his own software, which control sound with various blocks on the screen. The movement of objects in the software tightly corresponded with the sound. Although it was regrettable that the contrast on the screen was a little weak, the performance was enjoyable, while the motion of the object in software and the sound emitted corresponded.This allowed both hearing and sight to be enojoyed mutually. Although this software is still under development, I hope it will be open to the public. Moreover, “NewsWatch” his CD collecting software, shows the text of the news site on a web page, dodging the structure, and has brought a delicate feel which is somehow understandable.

Left) L?K?O, Right) Keiichiro Shibuya

Miroque wrapped the venue in a calm sound, and she is the only one who used a musical keyboard in performance.

“L?K?O” who is a special guest was playing an offensive sound which emphasized high frequency using three turntable + a laptop. As for the performance DJ has a rich physicality. It was impressive that much of the audience was gazing at his play eagerly and moving their body.

Keiichiro Shibuya, his performance consisted of a combination with precisely constructed sound and the stoic image which flashes like a glint of light. Maybe he stood in the center of a sound system while performing, it was interesting that the sound changed greatly in proportion to places in the venue.

Next, Kozo Inada. Unfortunately I failed to hear his performance. In a friend’s talk, the last deployment was superb, and it is regretful to
have missed this opportunity.

Left) Merzbow

Masami Akita a.k.a. Merzbow, is the maestro of noise. His performance would be one of the highlights of this event. The first half of sound increasing gradually was really overwhelming. It was understood following the projection of various creatures with a roaring sound, that the high region of ear is gradually lost. Is it true that the volume of Merzbow,s sound systems is louder than the others?

Left) Takamasa Aoki, Right) NUMB

Takamasa Aoki who justs released his 3rd album. His performance seems to have brought the coolness to the venue in combination with the voice and sound, which are occasionally mixed with a little wonderful rhythm played from a laptop. Impression differs whenever it hears it; I look forward to the next time.

The last, NUMB. He was swaying the space and the audience in a struck beat despite the late time just before dawn.

Although it was regrettable that there were small crowds (probably because of cold rain), I think that this event stretched the frame of existing electronic music. For example, the performance by own software and the sound which complain to the body itself, for the audience. It was also able to get precious CD.

The opening of the Mori art museum itself is a little less than one year away. It is expected that various deployments will still be made in sound, media art, and other fields.

In addition, the work contained on this CD “Open Mind” can be downloaded from the official site of Mori Art Museum except for Ryoji Ikeda’s sound work. Although the sound works are different from the original because of MP3 compression, it contains the screen saver by AGE 5&UP. If you are intrigued by them, I’ll recommend you to get them.

Open Mind Live Event
Date : 21st December 2002
Place : Roppongi Hills Information Center / THINK ZONE
Address : 1F Zone Roppongi Building, 6-2-31 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 03-5770-8824

Text and Photos: Jo Kazuhiro
Special Thanks: Jun Horikiri (Portable[k]ommunity), Yukiko Shikata (Mori Art Museum)

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