Young Observers : Japan

Subject: Young Observers : Japan
From: Yumi Fujieda (
Date: Sun Jul 04 1999 - 12:04:50 EDT

Young Observers : Japan
The Albert, 191 Queens Gate, London SW7 5EU
Organised by
The Salon des Arts (Registered British Charity)
1st-31st July 1999, by appointment 07808 078 759 (Fujieda)
Noriko Honda, Kaori Honma, Peter Mcdonald, Miyuki Morita, Ai Murata, Shuko N
akata, Hana Sakuma, Hideyuki Sawayanagi, Uen
"undirected" by Christophe Charles
performed on a PB G3 with max/msp
23rd July, open 7:30 starts 8:30 PM, admission L2.00.



Since 1986, I have been working on different methods of (de)composing music. At least two of them were given names: "next point" and "undirected". The fo rmer was suggested by Danish composer Henning Christiansen : "this is a prin ciple of form where you introduce a new sound in order to open on new possib ilities". "Next point" (de)compositions are conceived so that some elements announce or recall other ones. As an example, some elements are amplified li ttle by little and are prolonged so that they give birth to a new sequence ( "next point"), where new elements appear and develop, contrasting with or co mpleting the former elements which go disappearing little by little. The mus ic is thus constantly recycling.

Although one can feel a kind of development, as the different parts follow o ne another, these (de)compositions are not based on any kind of story board : they are conceived to be looped, that is, heard continuously. The order of appearance of the different parts can be changed, for example using the shuf fle mode when playing a CD, or generating sounds and silence with a computer in any order, that is, in an uncontrollable order. The "next point" music te nds to become then "undirected" (word suggested by Richard Kostenaletz) and explores further the limits of intention (desire) and non-intention (chance) . It insists on the freedom of the listener to define (or not) relations bet ween the different sounds and silences which are heard during its performance.

The sounds appear independently, that is, apart from any global structure wh ich should intentionally impose on them an arbitrary hierarchy. The autonomy of sound in time is sustained by his autonomy in space and timber. The (un)r elated/undirected music is multiphonic / multichannel. It is thus to perceiv e in both time, space and matter : the computer determines pitch, duration, gain, filters values, as well as spatial settings (panning and reverberation ), on the condition that the combination of these parameters never (or seldo m) appears twice.

The specific display of the loudspeakers reinforce the perception of sound a s space, that is, architecture, environment, or soundscape. In this sense, t he music(ian) explores particular relations between fundamental elements : t he sounds, the spaces, the media technology and the audience. One of its pur pose is to realize the idea of "interpenetration without obstruction" of the se elements.

The (de)compositions don't intend to "tell" anything to the listener, to imp ose him to listen to a particular ordered development. The audience remains free to listen to the sounds of the environment, and pays sometimes more att ention to the sounds which are not featured in the composition. The sounds o f the environment happening in real time are in this sense "invited" to be h eard simultaneously. The condition for such a phenomena to happen is that ea ch sound of the composition stands for itself : no one sound is then able to cover or eliminate another. The possibility to make "all sounds" audible is realized through the absence of structure apriori : the succession of severa l sounds has no importance anymore. At last, we enjoy a total harmony, a pan tonality, where any sound can meet any other sound, and where the music "hol ds itself up" (John Cage to Christophe Charles, 1986 : " sustained you r music very well. That is, you let it hold itself up. I found it a pleasure to listen to.").

The resulting music does not seem to progress. The freedom of the listener i s thus realized : he can listen when he likes to, without being feared to ha ve lost something. In such conditions, he / she should become conscious of h is / her entire responsibility of enjoying the present time of his / her lis tening performance.


Christophe Charles : 1964, born in Marseille, France. Since 1983, production of installations, concerts, CD. Since 1987, historical & theoretical researc h on media arts. 1996, Ph.D. (Arts and Design) at Tsukuba University ; 1997, Ph.D. at Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO P aris), both on Japanese media Art. From 1999 lecturer at Chukyo University, Information Sciences Dept., Nagoya, Japan.

CD : (solo) "let it hold itself up" (Gallery HAM, Nagoya, 1993), "Deposition Yokohama" (Yokohama Museum, 1994), "undirected 1986-1996" (Mille Plateaux, 1 996). (compilation) "statics" (CCI Recordings, 1995), "In Memoriam Gilles De leuze" (Mille Plateaux, 1996), "reprovisers" (Thrill Jockey / Tokuma Japan, 1997), "Modulation & Transformation #4" (Mille Plateaux, 1999). collaboratio n with oval/Markus Popp : "dok" (Thrill Jockey / Tokuma Japan, 1998).

One-Man-Shows using sound/ light/ video : Giannozzo Kunstverein (Berlin, 198 9), Gallery Surge (Tokyo, 1990), Gallery Naito (Nagoya, 1992), Gallery HAM ( Nagoya, 1993), Yokohama Museum (1995), Gallery Pig Nose (Kyoto, 1995), Art H ouse/Neues Asahi, Maebashi, Gunma (1998). Solo Concerts : Nice Manca Festiva l 1992 &1997, NIPAF1993, M In M Project Tokyo 1992-1997, Prague National Gal lery / Plasy Monastery 1997, Kassel Dokumenta X Hybrid Workspace 1997, Buro7 Paris Goethe institut 1998. Collaboration with Yamaguchi Katsuhiro in 1992 : "Media Opera" First World Symposium on Environmental Arts, 1999 : Monument i n Tenroku, Osaka. Collaboration with Gallery Surge : "Tokyo/Osaka Experiment al Art Ensemble Europe Tour" with Ishii Mitsutaka, Shimoda Seiji, Chino Shui chi, Merzbow, Haino Keiji, Hamada Goji, Yamaguchi Katsuhiro,Yamada Setsuko, Mineko Grimmer, Harada Kazuo, etc. (58 artists, over 50 concerts), at Urbane Aboriginale (Berlin), Het Apollohuis (Eindhoven), Logos Tetrahedron (Gent), MANCA Festival (Nice), UNESCO Japan Culture Festival (Paris). Co-organisatio n of Hermit Project (Plasy Monastery CR). Collaboration with Kazakura Sho du ring the Europe tour, at the NIPAF Performance Festival (Tokyo & Nagano, 199 5) and at the Neo Dada Document Exhibition in Oita (Kyushu, 1995). Collabora tion with Henning Christiansen: "Pandora New Box" (10th Tokyo Summer Festiva l, 1994), "Manresa Hbf" (Manresa, Spain, 1994), sonambiente festival (Berlin , 1996), Art Meets Science... (Copenhagen,1996), (c)Language (HfBK Hamburg, 1997). Collaboration with Markus Popp / oval : experimental express (Tokyo S piral, 1998), dok (Kobe Fashion Museum, 1998).


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