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2013.08.28 Topics

TEF Open Call Program (Sound Installation Section/ Performance Section) Review by Jury Members

Toshi Ichiyanagi 
(Composer/ Pianist)

Even now when one encounters the music and art of the second half of the twentieth century (especially those works produced after World War II), one is constantly struck by how truly experimental these works are. Even though the techniques and information that we have depended on in recent years was not available to artists at the time, the spirituality that governs creation is definitely alive in those works. When you think about it, suddenly it becomes clear what the tasks and responsibilities of today's creators are.

Atsushi Sugita
(Art Critic/ Professor, Joshibi University of Art and Design)

As for the various proposals regarding experimental expressions centered on sound, there were many earnest works that left a favorable impression on me. Yet I cannot help but have some doubts about these works when I consider the fact that many of them can be classified into several types. Moreover--and this applies not only to sound--many of the works seemed to be closed off within their own world (i.e. within the representative mode of sound), and few possessed an awareness of the relation their works have to the world we are now living in, the nature of society, and the problems we now face.

Ken'ichi Nakagawa (Pianist/ Conductor)

There were a great many entries from abroad in this year's screening--a fact which gave us a real feeling of just how much global awareness of this festival is increasing. We used Skype and other internet-based tools in interviewing artists for the screening. There were many stimulating works, and it is regrettable that we had to narrow the number down. I think this year's program was teeming with a wide a multiplicity of styles, and I am looking forward to having all of you attend.

Yuji Numano
(Musicologist/ Associate Professor, Toho Gakuen School of Music)

What stood out on the whole was how each work brings together the intermediary senses of sight, sound, touch, and other senses. In some sense, however, anyone can conceive the idea itself, and so the sense of "the modes of connecting" becomes more important. Related to this point, it is my personal feeling that many of the works were rendered mediocre by their use of MAX/MSP. Moreover, regarding the music, many entries were no more than compositions and performances of "contemporary music," and I was somewhat put off by these. The attitude of relying too heavily on the "contemporaneousness" and "techniques" of conventional music is a far cry from true experimentation. As a consequence, I instead gave high marks to works that--even if a tad primitive--seemed to be groping for something sublime.

Minoru Hatanaka
(Senior Curator, NTT International Communication Center [ICC])

Perhaps because the contents were renewed this year, the installation section was not only newly created but the entries covered an unprecedentedly broad-ranging set of works. Among these works were those forged in cooperation with various other genres, those that are cross-disciplinary and not limited to any particular genre, and those that defy any labels of genre or category. Each of the works featured in the exhibit gives a sense that it had to be created at this specific moment in time, and I look forward to seeing at the exhibit the earnest expressions that calmly stare at and confront the reality.

Yoshitaka Mouri
(Sociologist/ Associate Professor, Department of Musical Creativity and the Environment, Tokyo University of the Arts)

Today's artists are pursuing new experimental modes of expression like never before. The last thirty years of the twentieth century are usually thought of as a period that saw the end of all forms of experimentation. Yet today--now that politics, economics, art and culture seems to be approaching a dead end--we are entering once again a period of experimentation. All of the works selected for this occasion reflect the atmosphere of our present age. Whether or not each of these experiments is successful--this is something that I look forward to confirming at the festival.

Ryuichiro Mori (TWS Program Director)

What came to mind during this screening was the feeling that sound is not something to be experienced through the ears alone. It also involves one's eyes, skin, and emotions. Many of the works presented in this festival require one to utilize all of the powers of the body to take in. In order to appreciate these works, perhaps we must first become conscious of the wildness of humans in the metropolis. In the city hubs of Shibuya and Hongo--each with its own unique charms--I would like to try to focus on the point of contact between our spiritual climate (which sees the divine in the sum of things) and the sound-art (which spins together a world through sound).

For details of TEF Sound Instaration, please click here
For details of TEF Performance, please click here