18.11.09

Toshiya Tsunoda: Obtaining the Unamplifiable.

It's been a pretty exciting last couple of weeks, 10 days in Montreal meant plenty of time to roam stone-walled allies and tucked away parks, visit numerous record stores (without burning too big a hole in my wallet, surprisingly), eat great food, check out University campuses and spend time with my lady Lucy. Actually, I was even so lucky as to get to experience Stockhausen's Kontakte at the Oscar Peterson hall at the Concordia Loyola campus in all it's 35 minute-four-channel-spastic-pummeling glory. They even turned out the lights to heighten the experience. It doesn't do it justice but you can listen to the whole thing in 4 parts on youtube. Anyway, it's good to be back in Vancouver.


As I was walking around Montreal, I often thought that it was a shame that I didn't bring a recording device with me to capture all the amazing sounds of the city. I was trying to pack light. Complementing my regrets were another set of thoughts that focused around Toshiya Tsunoda. When aimlessly meandering through a city I can't help but think of him. Tsunoda is mainly in the business of field recording, but to call him just a field recorder is like a slap in the face, because really he's so much more than that. The reason Tsunoda ranks up there with, and maybe even surpasses, artists like Chris Watson, Ryoji Ikeda, or Jacob Kirkegaard is because he's able to present to us pure sonic specimens from the ever-present micro-cosmos. Not the cosmos out there, among the stars and such, but the world under your living room rug, or behind your refrigerator, or inside the very bottle of beer that you just consumed, the sonic world that we overlook every minute of everyday of our existence. At the micro level, everything is vibrating, everything emits a sound, and it seems Tsunoda is trying to stress this fact with every subsequent recording. The result is meant to open new experiential dimensions to the listener, dimensions of space, sound formation, and perception that help fortify the delicate art that is listening to this music.

photo from erstwords blog linked below

I would like to direct everybody to these candor words by Toshiya Tsunoda talking about his practice and about experimental music as a genre. Essential reading for fans: erstwords: field recording and experimental music scene.

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