Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cyril M. - Diffraction


Anachronistic media, cassettes have been now paid attention to again. It is usual we connect sound sources downloaded on the smartphone to speakers or a headphone as tools for enjoying music. It was music players for MP3 use only before. Those have been integrated in tools called palmtop computers. I think the next one will be a wearable tool, it will be implanted in the body in the future. For example, one manipulates tools with biting the teeth by making the ticking.

Will the era when the value of human will be estimated by how many softwares in the tool or how big the latest CPU and memories come? He releases not vinyl but cassettes in such trend! Crap! When I started to play with cassettes is 1971 in my memory. In these days, Sony started to sell cassette tape recorders “MEMO” (TC-1010 magazine-matic Memo) which was the same size as hard cover books now.

This had a speaker and a microphone built in, about eight years later from then Walkman was released. Although it was without a speaker and a microphone, it was used only for a open type stereo headphone and it was a playback only machine. It was said that this changed the listening environment and the musical tendency of modern people. On one side personal listening was enhanced, on the other side the style the public enjoyed music simultaneously had been changed to discos or clubs.

People can edit, duplicate and increase cassettes at home. This was same as current CDR. But, It was easy that we erase on the cassettes. That is, if we overwrite it, it comes to change entirely different work. Actually, in 1980’s when I distributed my works and works of my friends I collected as dubbing service without a fee in an anhistic group called the fifth column, there are countless cassette labels in the world, people called “home taper” existed infinitely. Such race had no enough money to make vinyl records, and they were expanding the network by not selling but sending works each other and making compilations of someone’s plans.

However, What a French gifted, Cyril M. will do isn’t such things. Sound, operability, networking has evolved, and it can’t be compared with 80’s. The data of CDR is unexpectedly easy to be erased, the durability of CD is doubted. Cassettes may have the durability next to vinyl, we can listen to the recording of 40 years ago sufficiently, if the quality of tapes and the states of keeping have no problem.

So, you have to ask someone who has a cassette player or make a CDR by digitalizing from a hardware. It’s a large obstacle. But, people can get over it will have the sense of the achievement to listen to the new work of Cyril. That is, Cyril hides the secret in the secluded room of ruins. People can reach there can get a common secret. They will carry out it. This is an active participation for act for “listening”. In fact, this has the website we can download. This is the loophole for people who give up to get over the obstacle in first.

Well, the secret is that A-side is the solo of Cyril, B-side is the improvisation duo with the player called Sacha Navarro-Mendez. Although you don’t know, a cassette has inside and outside, two sides, they are called A, B. Both sides are same limit time for the recording. And, basically we can’t play in succession. In case of a cassette of Cyril, one side is 30 minutes and A-side is recorded for 27 minutes 25 seconds, B-side side is that “duo 1” is for 10 minutes, “duo 2” is for 16 minutes 32 seconds.

In January, 2014, Cyril come to Japan and I got a chance to play with him. I vividly remember the impression at that time by solo performance on side A. Because Cyril made open tuning for the guitar and effected long delay and hold, he can play “alone duo” almost same as an electric bass player are playing.

But, I like it. This performance is like the first track of the first album of Ash La Tempel! I can’t listen to the drum of Schultze (He doesn’t exist!), because of bad PA. But, it’s psychedelia I feel it’s just good. Gradually, the wall of sounds come to be so thick that it changes to the sea of noise from the middle. It’s a whirl of a muddy stream like the art of the sleeve (the work by person who is called Zussy). It converge sooner or later, the performance by the bow come to a main part, though I think the heat will go down, a shrill voice of the guitar attacks sharply than before.

After playing, I listen to claps but it’s not fanatic. I think the sober audience is also good. Well, in B-side, completely changed scenery develops. It’s different from the circumstance of the recording. It is improvisation they has continued to exchange the sound endlessly, Cyril develops prepared playing by putting various things between chords or fastening clips.

The performance by Sacha is what I can understand clearly. It’s the piano which a part of it is prepared. Although 90 years will be already passed since Prepared piano was developed as the style of playing by John Cage, who started this by the guitar? Hans Reichel was good at playing it in the 70’s improvisation scene, Fred Frith also did frequently. Especially, we can hear it by live improvisation of Henry Cow. So, I feel a little the beginning is like Fred and the piano of Tim Hodgkinson. Both stop to play prepared, tonal refrain appears. Because the pianist plays the inside of the piano (beating the chord directly), I have an image like Tim Hodgkinson yet. But, Cyril and Sacha tend to hesitate somehow, they can’t play dynamically.

Well, the duo is using delay and repeating the refrain and is fading. It’s common development. I wonder this is fading out and this isn’t live performance because the reaction by the audience doesn’t exist. Although it’s exactly the real pleasure of improvisation that we construct the performance by feeling the reaction each other, we feel limit and come to be stereotype only by that. It is no way other than performers become aware of. It’s a bad habit of older man that I speak self-importantly. Please forgive me. Cyril, come to Japan again.

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