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It is hard to define music. In the narrow sense, it can be music is what has a scale, a melody and ryhthm. However, to define that this is all about music might shut the possibility music has.

Taishi Kamiya is an artist based in Sapporo, doing artistic live performances with computer, and also presiding over an original label “aMiLABEL“. I went to his ongoing solo exhibition. To get the venue, you should take a bus “Kan12 ropeway line” from Maruyama park station at subway “To-Zai line”, and got off at “Asahigaoka high school”. It takes about 15 minutes. Walking about further 5 minutes from the bus stop, there you can find the venue “Gallery Monma”. A building a little bit apart from the main building is his exhibition place “Gallery Monma ANNEX“.

The concept of the exhibition is presenting music exept live performance or CD, an experiment which put into practice Taishi’s thought that music cen be produced by changing sounds in time and space. He thinks that if this can be music, nature already involve music, and calls this theory “ubiquitous music”. That is to think that if you listen to daily life carefully, music is there.

Inside the venue, rectangular wooden boards are covering long and narrow floor. The each boad has red and black thin codes reaching to the ceiling. You can feel comfortable with this quite minimum space. Then, “sound” comes out from somewhere, which is like sound or noise of nature environment.

To tell the truth, the wooden boards are the speaker, and the red and black codes are outputs of stereo. The sound from the speaker is from several microphones at the venue and the garden, and a computer selects and combines “current sound” and “past sound” at random. Time series at the moment of recording is decomposed once, and the sound of several times (“current and past” or “past and past”) comes out at the same time into the venue. Therefore, visitors feel like they are in marvelous sound space. Rainning sounds has come out. It’s not raining at the moment. It must be some “past sound” during the exhibition period.

I talked to one of the visitors at the venue. “Music usually has the beginning and end, but this doen’s has it. I think it’s interesting that people can come and leave anytime.”

At 19:00 of last day, the Hard Disc which has been recorded 174 hours sounds during the exhibition period, was taken off. Moving to the main building, Taishi Kamiya showed a live performance with the sounds. It was an artificial live performance with random sounds from the venue.

The exhibition was very significant that I could have a new understanding of sound and time and think of new music form. It will be also different sound depending on the number of microphone and where to put the microphone. This time was nature surroundings, but I wondered what kind of “music” would come out if it was in the bustle of big cities.

Taishi Kamiya Exhibition “ubiquitous music”
Date: 20th-26th November, 2005 13:00-19:00
Performance: 26th 19:00-
Place: Gallery Monma ANNEX
Address: 2-3-38, Asahigaoka, Chuoku, Sapporo, Japan

Text and Photos: Shinichi Ishikawa from Numero Deux
Translation: Yurie Hatano

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