<An birthday eve of fifth column 2>
Shouhachirou Takahashi was an avant-garde poet who was talkative, cheerful, tolarent and workphile. He was well informed about contemporary art in general and also had a wide knowledge about literature.
His personal connections are so large, He had a relationship with local celebrity, national poets, artists, and international poets( also Fluxus members and around it, Octavio path, Raoul Hausmann! ) . It is natural that, one of the most important methodology of him was
" Mail Art " .
Young people may not realize straight away, but it is an art that uses a post system in short. There are various methods with this. For example, “ Send anything mailable to an exhibition. The period is from when to when, the place is such and such place. ” Sometimes a mail itself may be a work. It is acceptable that there is one poetry, only one word, a picture or a sign. In some cases, the instruction is written on a mail. For example, “ People who receive this postcard have to do such and such thing from what month what day what time what minutes what seconds to what time what minutes what seconds ” Or a big work was disassembled and it is sent to the person of every part of the world. There was a case a person experiment with how things were able to send by mail. In another case, based on a certain concept, things of a certain size are sent to a person.
When an exhibition was closed, planners made a record in any way. That is like below. ” We did this kind of things. Participants were such people. We enclose photos of an exhibition. Thank you for your cooperation. ” They wrote reports and make a catalog of works. And they sent those to participants. Of course, such a plan will continue to chain. Now, a ubiquitous plan will be probably possible through internet. However, it is a kind of virtual image or function through the data only to the last. It would bring completely different impression by analog and materialistic mail art which divide time and space. Mr. Shouhachirou Takahashi was an important figure like that genre, movement.
We, everyone who did various things as a fifth column later also took part in much. We sent a lot of things to international exhibitions by the introduction of Mr. Takahashi. I was interested with plans of a person whose name is Sarenko in Italy. Well, come to think of it, Genesis P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle ( He is a woman now. ) was doing mail art frequently. He made an organization called COUM TRANSMISSION, he was using that name. I had heard a story his initial GPO is named after ” Great Britain Post Office ” . After shifting to the musical activities in TG, he was unfortunately seemed to quit mail art. So, I was not connected with him.
However, after the TG, when he started the Psychic TV which parent body was Temple Ov Psychic Youth was an organization such as mixed by adding the Charles Manson, and Aleister Crowley and Jim Jones. To join their organization, “ Send us thy menstrual blood or semen and thy written desire “ . That was a kind of mail art as well ( Is it different? ) . Oh, Come to think of it, TG has become a hot topic at last around 82～83, I heard a rumor Japanese version of TG’s works would be released. At that time, there was “ TRIO “ records and their subsidiary label called PASS would release. They had issued LPs of Phew ( with Ryuichi Sakamoto ) and Friction. A man named Yoshitaka Goto is founder and producer of Pass. I met him through Mr. Kenichi Takeda, and he would write a commentary on LP of “ 20 Jazz Funk Greats “ .
Just before that, Mr. Goto went to Europe and recorded a new LP of Phew in Germany.This masterpiece has resulted from the full cooperation from a member of CAN and renowned producer Connie Plank. Mr. Goto also met members of TG and contracted to put out Japanese version of third LP. As a part of promotion, he held an event to watch a live video of TG all over Japan. I was supposed to cooperate with it. It was punk era, but my interest was directed to industrial than punk. It does lead to the relationship with the private label “ PINAKOTHEKA ” , and I will write it after.
A Cartoonist, Osamu Kanno is a strange person. Through his work, you may imagine he is a sharp appearance such as Ryunosuke Akutagawa. If you take into account his literary knowledge and the stylistic ( Kanno 's a good writer ) , you also may think he is a awfully strict person who is familiar with the classic art and literature. However, when you actually meet him, you are absolutely betrayed. And, when you feel relieved, you will be betrayed again. As I thought he is a unique artist.
Kanno has been familiar various musical instruments. When I first met with him, he was playing the trumpet and the drum. Instead of a set, the drum was composed of elements gathered from everywhere. Cymbals were also bended or cracked and those were partially made of metal of dustpan. So to speak, instrument itself is collage. But when he played, it became the sound was somehow appropriate for it.
He was vigorously blowing trumpet anyway. But, it was self-taught at all. And, He played electric guitar as well, but mainly instead of electric bass. Solo works that made by over-doubbed recording, without singing, but it was cool like rock considerably. However, the same pattern will come up many times, so it will make you boredom a little.
In the middle of the 80s, he borrowed one room of a building and was making it the studio for drawing a picture. And musical instruments were collected there, and acquaintances were gathered, he repeated sessions night after night. Since I was wandering around the city to look for such a place, I jumped at relationship with him. I was doing a rock band at the time, so I won my fellow over soon.
Ten or more persons of such parties gathered from the inside of Morioka city. Background and expectation were various. Then, he suggested that a concert would be done for 24 hours. It is the title “ The men who stand on sound “ However, the hall said that they can not lend such a long time, then it became a 12-hour concert from 9AM to 9PM.
Kanno’s enthusiasm was considerable. He summoned professional jazz sax player who were friends of him from Tokyo and he called together skillful jazzmen of the city and guys who had a band of their own like me. He decided the time distribution of a little crazy bunch who were agree to his plan.
About ten participants were collected to the observatory on the mountain of Morioka cityat six in the morning. They were stood in the backward stripped to the waist with a musicalinstrument for the poster photo. When it completed, it seemed like they were pissing side by side against the city.
Kanno paid for something out of his own pocket all anyway. Acquaintances of Kanno were asked for staffs such PA, lighting, acceptance, propaty men. Performers and staffs were also becoming a part of Kanno theater. The concert was the work of Kanno.
To tell the truth, I do not remember well the state of the live. The timetable was somehow rapidly getting out of control. I could not realize when my band started to play and finish.Because somebody was always on stage, a song became useless if someone participated without permission. I wondered we stopped on the way because we got angry somehow. I think all each members has also such impression and went home immediately.
Then the concert continued trailingly, about 20 people all went up to the stage and they went on spree near the end. But I wonder the material was run out and it was finished before nine o'clock after all. Because we had to take out by 9:00, so there was no party to celebrate the successful completion.
The memory of a live I've done together with Kanno was the screening of 16mm film “Sanya,we must revenge! “ ( I consider the measures for if the police and right-wing would come. ) . The Soundtrack was KOTEKITAI which was the band Wataru Ookuma ( CICALA-MVTA etc. ) and so on were temporarily doing. US Cellist, Tom Cora who might participate in KOTEKITAI came to Morioka and improvised with me and Kanno (He made an arrange for movies in my house during his Morioka stay. ). My friend Mr. Sasaki who played the light show such popular in the late 60's psychedelic rock participated in live show.
Because there were no computers or liquid crystal projectors at all, they projected an unpredictable image on the wall that was quite different from what VJ is doing now. There are various ways of what to do, but in his case, he put a shallow transparent basin with water on top of the overhead projector that was often used for presentation long time ago, and he put various translucent films into it or shed the colorful ink. Not much brightness, but uncertain change was interesting. When I watched the state of the old days of USA, that's awfully flashy with silicon oil and fluorescent ink. Pink Floyd was doing like that too. One of the heavyweights Kanno played with was the late Peter Kowald who was one of
the FMP founder. It was great at this time. I screened a movie of Moers New Jazz Festival by Teruto Soejima.
Although I did not play together, I asked Kanno undercard of Keiji Haino.
I made the sound which attached and amplified the microphone of the electric guitar on the metal sculpture of Bertoia ( I edited and released Bertoia’s CD from the PSF records ) . Mr.Haino also liked Bertoia, so we started association when I sold him the LP11-Disc. Although costarring with Tom and Peter was rather interesting, it has not opened to the public once yet. The reason is a set was so long anyhow. This was pulled by Kanno's feature “it is long anyhow. “ Whether solo or costarring, he does not stop playing easily. Breaking it whenever you think it settle down around here. And he pulled strongly. There was a case that he stimulated in the situation where it became bored, or he also might dislike having been united. ( By the way, I tend to want to stop playing immediately. ).
Maybe playing for a long time by concentrating intently modified the
consciousness among the images of the improvisation which Kanno has.
One day, a connection stopped suddenly from Kanno. This continuation is later again. Till then, read Osamu Kanno's recent comic book “ SUZIKO “ ( Fish spawn ). Because it is really amazing work! ( cont'd )