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Pioneering Japanese Sound Artists Launch CalArts’ 2012-13 Wild Beast Concert Series

Landmark Voices and Echoes tour features renowned avant-garde sound artists Akio Suzuki, and the duo of Gozo Yoshimasu and Otomo Yoshihide

Japanese sound artist Akio Suzuki exploring the acoustic of the Walthamstowe Marshes railway bridge. Video: Helen Petts.

August 22, Valencia, CA, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is pleased to announce the 2012-2013 season of The Wild Beast Concert Series.  The first concert is a stop on the landmark Voices and Echoes tour of pioneering Japanese artists Akio Suzuki, and the duo of Gozo Yoshimasu and Otomo Yoshihide. Each renowned for unique approaches to sound-based practices, these artists will draw on an array of disciplines, including literature and sound art, to create conceptual performances and improvisations.

The Wild Beast music pavilion on the CalArts campus has been dubbed a “mini Hollywood Bowl” for its delightful outdoor amphitheater setting.  The Voices and Echoes concert takes place on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at the Wild Beast’s S. Mark Taper Foundation Courtyard.  Admission is free.  Advance registration is suggested.

“I have admired the work of these exceptionally talented artists for decades,” said David Rosenboom, Dean of The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts.  “They are at the very highest level of creating and performing experimental music and will deliver new ideas to inspire our students, faculty and the audience of the Wild Beast Concert Series.”

Akio Suzuki’s multi-faceted career began in the 1960s and is typified by his consistent, and sometimes playful, desire to make listening the subject of his work. He will perform on a range of unique instruments including an ancient stone flute (Iwabue) passed down through his family for many generations, and Analapos—an instrument he invented in the 1970s that creates echoes through the acoustic transmissions of a spiral cord stretched between two metal cylinders.

Considered one of the most representative figures of modern Japanese literature, experimental poet and filmmaker Gozo Yoshimasu published his first book of poetry in 1964.  For Voices and Echoes, he will utilize his unique style of recitation, which relies upon highly rhythmic delivery and intense vocal modulations. Yoshimasu will be joined by Otomo Yoshihide, a guitarist/turntablist, and leading international figure in experimental and avant-garde music. Having first achieved prominence in the 1990s as the leader of the noiserock group Ground Zero, Yoshihide is known for his collaborations with such acclaimed visual and performing artists as Christian Marclay, John Zorn, Keith Rowe, Mats Gustafsson and Butch Morris.

The Voices and Echoes North American tour is organized by ISSUE Project Room and curated by  electronic musician, composer, visual artist and independent curator Aki Onda. The project is supported by the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program and Asian Cultural Council.

Links to additional information about the artists

Akio Suzuki

Gozo Yoshimasu

Otomo Yoshihide


Akio Suzuki

Gozo Yoshimasu

Otomo Yoshihide


Last edited by dthatt on Aug 29, 2012
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