I have been a fan of Taku Sugimoto’s album Opposite for some time now, so on a recent trip to Japan I did my best to track down some more of his music. Out of the CDs I bought, this collaboration with Moe Kamura is the one that has stood out for me.
Sugimoto’s music is often labeled Reductionism due to the fact that some of his recordings and improvisations have more ambient noise and amplifier hum than “music” (please debate the inverted commas on your own time!). At one point in his career, Sugimoto estimated that he might only play 11 notes in 40 minutes. On this particular CD, Sugimoto and Kamura keep the number of notes small, but also contract the duration (7 tracks in under 12 minutes) producing a collection of lovely, intimate miniatures.
The sparse textures produced by the toy piano and guitar and the simple melodies and quiet child-like voice create an eery atmosphere that conjures up images of a haunted playroom. Each piece seems to be a fragment of a larger narrative that bring to mind Kurtág’s Messages of the Late R. V. Troussova, Scenes From a Novel and Kafka Fragments. On the whole, this is an intriguing CD, although I would have preferred it to be a little longer.
A Chair 3 (1:21)
And Yet (2:14)
A Chair 1 (1:22)
A Chair 2 (1:28)
All music by Taku SugimotoAll words by Moe Kamura
Moe Kamura: vocal, guitar, toy pianoTaku Sugimoto: guitarTaku Unami: contraguitar (7)
Recorded and mastered by Taku Unami in Tokyo, May 2007Drawing and design by Taku Sugimoto