Side A: 15:00 / Side B: 19:00
Side C: 19:00 / Side D: 17:00
Excerpt Side A
Price including registered post to Europe: 29.00 euros
Price including registered post to rest of the world: 34.00 euros
Price including post within Switzerland: 19.00 swiss francs
I've been composing graphical scores since 2004. Each score has been done for a particular group, and not just for a certain set of instruments but also for specific persons, each with their own personal sound and their own distinct approach to improvisation. The scores hover in the gray region between composition and improvisation. They create a situation where the players are free up to a point to improvise but in which they could also find themselves in juxtapositions with other players which they might not have personally chosen, thus throwing a metaphoric wrench in the proceedings.
The question has been posed several times, "But why do this? Why not just let the group improvise freely?" I'm interested in when a playing situation becomes unstable, when the players find themselves in situations which test the comfort zone of how and with whom they want to play with. The scores serve as a conduit for this process. But they are also more: they allow me to shape a playing environment, taking into account the different players, their instruments, even the notion of the playing space itself as one of the more decisive factors in the outcome of a piece. Beyond all this, as a visual artist I'm fascinated with the process of the graphical representation of sound: how we can depict a certain sound or way of playing graphically and how others can interpret a graphical form as a sound.
Two parameters govern the scores: the vertical axis indicates the general dynamics of the playing, the horizontal axis is a time line. I draw graphical forms for the musicians to interpret as they wish. I only ask that all dynamic and timing indications be adhered to as closely as possible. I give no information on how the graphical forms should be reacted to.
"Open Space" was commissioned by the 2012 now NOW Festival in Sydney, Australia. I chose some of the players myself, and some were suggested to me by the group's trombonist Rishin Singh (who also wrote the liner note to the LP). For the people suggested to me, and for whose work I was not familiar with, recordings were sent to me of them playing. On the basis of these recordings and my own personal knowledge of the other players, I was able to construct the score. I also knew that I wanted to work with a large group because the space we would be performing in would be a large one (which I'd already played in at the 2011 now NOW Festival).
The title "Open Space" refers both to the idea of working in an open space: the physical space of a room as well as the spaces of player interaction within the group and in reaction to the performance space itself; and to the notion of opening that space between improvisation and composition, delving into the friction and conduction which lie between these two approaches and opening this space up to discover the possibilities which lie therein.
"In Place: Daitoku-ji + Shibuya Crossing"
Price including registered post to Europe: 10.00 euros
Price including registered post to rest of the world: 12.00 euros
Price including post within Switzerland: 10.00 swiss francs
Since 2011 I've been developing a series of works entitled "In Place," in which I address the process of what transpires
when I go to a place to make a recording. Of course, I come away with a recording of something. I've made my catch of
material or perhaps a stand-alone composition or panoramic still life. But more than this I take back with me the experience
of spending time in a place, absorbing that place in all its details: its sights, its sounds, how on emotional and intellectual
levels I interacted with this place. When I'm back home listening to the recordings a rush of memories accompanies them,
much like Proust's famous biscuit in his cup of tea unleashing a torrent of recollections from his childhood. My mind wanders
beyond the recordings and their subtleties. I begin to think about the place, how I felt being there, what that place was about
in terms of its social context, its function; how people reacted to me being there, to what my mind was thinking while I was
making the recordings -- all this mental and emotional material existing alongside the snazzy sound files I'd manged to make
with all my shiny equipment.
So I decided, why not just write a text about this process, about my time spent in a place making a recording? And the text
itself would be the actual recording, with my reading the text a presentation of the place. My words and the emotions they
convey...will this reveal more about the place I've spent time in than an actual sound recording? Or just something different?
What does it mean to spend time in a place and just being there? Not "doing" anything there. Not making a recording. Not
taking notes. Not making photos or doing anything at all but just being there?
"In Place" is also to a large extent influenced by my reading of the works of Henri Lefebrve, in particular his two books
"The Production of Space" and "Rhythmanalysis." Lefebvre dissects the issue of space, what constitutes a space, how we
can create a space, what the social elements are of a space and how we interact with a space on these different planes.
The daily rhythms of life, the dynamics of time passing and spaces changing over time, both on the grand historical scale
from erection to ruin, as well as on the daily level all shape how space is formed and experienced. And these are precisely
the issues I want to explore in spending time in different spaces, investigating them, experiencing them and then reflecting
about them. "In Place" exposes what remains at the juncture between the space's physical presence and the presence of my
voice, embodying my experience of that space on all its planes.
On October 1, 2012 I spent twelve hours (5 AM to 5 PM) in the Daitoku-ji temple complex in Kyoto. More specifically, I was
sitting in front of the main Hon-do and by the Sentai-Jizo. The Daitoku-ji temple complex is actually a large grouping of
twenty-four sub-temples. Though not all of the sub-temples are open on a daily basis, and those that are only from the
morning till the early evening, the main temple grounds are always open to the public. Many people from the surrounding
neighborhood pass through the temple grounds each day, walking their dogs, jogging, coming to prey or just to take a relaxing
detour away from the city outside. And, of course, many tourists also come but not in the droves which afflict many of
Kyoto's more famous temples and shrines. I was living nearby the temple and passed though the main grounds nearly every
day. I couldn't think of a better place in Kyoto to spend a long day.
On October 11 I spent ten hours (6 AM to 4 PM) at the Shibuya Crossing in Shibuya, Tokyo, shifting my position throughout the
day to each of the four corners which delineate the crossing. This intersection is home to some of the most dense
accumulations of people in Tokyo, with wave upon human wave emptying from Shibuya Station and disappearing into the office
towers and businesses of the Shibuya district beyond. Large video screens mounted on buildings at three points of the crossing
drench the area in sound and light. The air is incredibly polluted from the constant traffic. One corner of the crossing is a
favorite place for political demon strations, which pretty much go on through the whole day. From my many visits to Tokyo I
was familiar with Shibuya Crossing. It seemed to epitomize for me some of the best and worst elements in Tokyo. I wanted to
spend a day getting past the glare and noise of Shibuya by planting myself at its epicenter.
I chose these two locations to juxtapose what I felt were the most extreme ends of modern Japan's cultural spectrum. And I
wanted see what it would be like to experience first hand these two very different yet, in some ways, very similar spaces by
spending a day in each. I would be lying if I claimed to have gotten to the heart of these two places by spending some hours
there, but I do feel that I scratched the surface and moved beyond my earlier impressions. I only hope that through the sound
of my voice reading the texts which I've written about these places, that the listener will also come away with some essence
of Daitoku-ji Temple and Shibuya Crossing.
Jason Kahn: analog synthesizer, percussion, radio, mixing board
48 Laws CD + Online Release
Recorded July 3, 2010 at INTR:MUROS festival
Recorded by Tomás Cabrero.
Mastered by Jason Kahn.
"For Angel" was my last performance with a set-up I had been touring around the world for many years. This always involved amplified percussion (snare drum, floor tom or bass drum) and electronics (at first computer, later analog synthesizer). But whatever the configuration of the instruments used, in these performances I always felt the main instrument I was playing was the concert space, using the resonance of my percussion to explore the sonic properties of the different rooms I played in. I essentially used feedback from a microphones placed over and under a drum to "sound out" a space. With electronics I was able to hone in on certain frequencies, emphasizing some or canceling others out, stretching the acoustics of a space like a sculpture works with clay or stone. This concert took place in the chapel of the monestary La Cartuja de Cazalla, a space rich in acoustical possibilites. Much like in surfing, I ride out the sound waves in these concerts, pushing and pulling with the space as, much like the Pacific Ocean where I grew up, the sound surges around me, at times nearly knocking me off my balance or hurling me headlong to crash. "For Angel" didn't end in a crash, but slowly blended out into the evening, hanging above La Cartuja de Cazalla like a starry cloak.
"v-p v-f is v-n double [field] compilation series, 203"
Patrick Farmer, Daniel Blinkhorn, Martin Clarke, Hideki Umezawa, Renato Rinaldi, Ben Owen, Jason Kahn, Jez Riley French, Eric La Casa, Sally Ann McIntyre, Simon Whetham, Lasse Marc Riek, Michael J. Schumacher, Alan Courtis
"Dunedin" documents a concert at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in New Zealand with Richard Francis (modular synthesizer, computer), Jason Kahn (analog synthesizer, radio, mixing board) and Bruce Russell (analog electronics). Recorded on January 28, 2011, three seemingly disparate approaches collide here for a 38-minute improvised set of immersive sound and fractured electronics. Russell's analog system cleaves a path through Francis' thick cloud of dusty field recordings and swirling standing waves; Kahn's chaotic feeback system of synthesizer and radio spikes and sputters, like a dying bird in the midst of some caustic low pressure front moving slowly across the horizon. It's a wild ride.
hear an excerpt
Price including shipping to Europe: 10.00 euros
Price including shipping to rest of the world: 12.00 euros