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Films by Helen Petts

Akio Suzuki

A legendary Japanese sound artist, Akio Suzuki has been performing, building instruments, and presenting sound installations for nearly 40 years. His music is simple and pure, exploring how natural atmospheres and sounds can be harnessed and then set free. To experience his art is to lose oneself in the sound that surrounds us. Akio performs on a range of unique self-made instruments including Analapos – an instrument he invented in the 1970s that creates echoes through the acoustic transmissions of a spiral cord stretched between two metal cylinders, De Koolmees - consisting of hollow glass tubes suspended over a frame, and an ancient stone flute (Iwabue) passed down through his family for many generations. Akio has collaborated with artists such as Toru Takemitsu, Takehisa Kosugi, Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann, Steve Lacy and John Butcher. 

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Pioneering Japanese sound artist Akio Suzuki has created improvised and transitory performances since the 1960s, investigating the acoustic qualities of selected locations and utilising an array a self-made instruments. For this beautiful and beguiling release for Takuroku, he presents new work using his ANAPOLAS instrument and “I wa fu e” stone flute.  -- Akio Suzuki - all instrumentation & recording -- Oliver Barrett - mastering & artwork design -- Artist’s Notes (English)  “ANAPOLAS -a” & “ANALAPOS -b” 2021 This ON-KI (sound instrument) is a variation of Voice ANALAPOS-a, an instrument which was created in 1970 while exploring the sound of echo at the “self-study event” of the 1960s. This instrument was used in the LP “ New Sense of Hearing” with Takehisa Kosugi, and in Sesshu Kai work “Interactivity for ANALAPOS.” It was also used in compositions by Aki Takahashi and for Toru Takemitsu’s film music… There was a time ANALAPOS was very active. ANALAPOS -a is mainly played by blowing a vice into one of the cylinders connected by a spring, while the -b type is made into a percussive instrument by arranging several of those cylinders upright and playing with drumsticks. In the 1980s, my ANALAPOS was invited to Derek Bailey’s “Company” of Free improvisation, and was able to presented for the first time in London. I also played with Steve Lacy, and more recently John Butcher and Aki Onda using these ON-KI. These groups of ANALAPOS let me play across the field of improvisation from contemporary music.  I’ve found it difficult to carry the heavy iron ON-KI so I have stored them, but I’m grateful that TakuRoku made these ON-KI see the sun again.  “i wa fu e” 2021 In Japan’s Jomon period, which lasted for about 13,000 years from now to 2500 years ago, according to archiological “i wa fu e” (stone flutes) samples may suggest that there have been a festival of blowing natural stones with holes.  There was a “i wa fu e” that I was given from my father, and it was a family treasure that has been passed down to the Suzuki family for generations. I always took it overseas as my mascot, but in the autumn of 2005, at the request of a filmmaker from London, I headed from Paris to Schiphol Airport on the way back from playing this “i wa fu e” at the old crater of the Italian volcanic island Stromboil. This family treasure disappeared from the net shelves of the train together with my suitcase!  Immediately a lost property request call was made on the page of THE WIRE magazine (issue 265), but still no luck after 16 years since then.  In 2019, Carlo Fossati, the owner of Torino’s gallery e/static contacted me that he managed to archive the documentation of me playing the family treasure at the Stromboil. This is the only video record of this “i wa fu e”.  And in February of last year 2020, when I was invited to perform in Auckland, New Zealand. Phil Dawson from Scratch gifted me another stone flute. This is the ““i wa fu e” I use now.  Phil remembered the incident that family stone flute got lost. He had picked up something similar to the lost stone at a nearby beach and kept it for me.  Phil and I have been “stone friends” for many years.  - Akio Suzuki  Notes on the title “ m e r i d i a n s c e n e r y “  As an Eastern person, I wonder if this is allowed, but I made up this word myself.  I put together “meridian” and “light” with a space in between each letter.  Tango, where I live, is the northernmost point on the 135 degree line of Japan Standard Time. I named it honestly according to where I recorded and in this particular time and season.  I dedicate this title to both the seasonal scene and Keiko, “the child of landscape”, too.   Artist’s Notes (Japanese) “ANALAPOS -a”& “ANALAPOS -b” 2021  ‘60年代の「自修イベント」で、エコーポイントを探るなか1970年に創作したVoice ANALAPOS -aのバリエーションがこの音器です。 Takehisa Kosugiと”New Sense of Hearing・・”というLPレコードの中で使用したり、Sesshu Kaiが、”Interactivity for ANALAPOS”の作曲をして下さったり、Aki Takahashiの委嘱で作曲をしたり、Toru Takemitsu の映画音楽にも登場したりと、活躍をした時期がありました。  ANALAPOS -aは、スプリングでつないだ片方のシリンダーに、主に声を吹き入れて演奏するのですが、それを立てにして幾つかを並べることにより打楽器に仕立てたのが -bタイプで、特性のバチによって演奏をします。  ‘80年代になって、Free improvisationのDerek Bailey “Company”に呼ばれてLondonで初演奏が出来たり、フリー・ジャズのSteve Lacyや、最近では、John Butcherや Aki Ondaと、この音器を使っての共演の例もあります。だから、現代音楽から即興の分野をまたいで遊ばせてくれたのが、これらANALAPOS群です。  現在は、鉄製の重い音器を運ぶのが億劫になって、お蔵入りをしていましたが、”TakuRoku”が、また陽の目を見させてくれて感謝しています。 “i wa fu e” 2021  今から2500年前までの約13000年間続いたという、日本の「縄文時代」には、穴の空いた自然石を吹きならす祭り事があったのではと、考古発掘例の「石の笛」から推測されています。  たまたま父から譲り受けた「石の笛」があって、それは代々鈴木家に伝わってきた宝でした。常に我がマスコットとして海外に持ち出していましたが、2005年の秋にLondonの映像作家の要請に応えて、イタリアの火山島Stromboliの旧火口でこれを演奏した帰りに、ParisからSchiphol空港に向かう列車 Thalysの網棚からケースごとこれが消えてしまったのでした。  直ぐに、THE WIRE Issue265の紙面に消息願いが出されましたが、あれから 16年が経ってしまいました。  2019年になって、Torinoの画廊 e/staticオーナーの Carlo Fossatiから連絡が来て、video document,2003 を 〈vimeo.com/364584092〉 登録したとの朗報をくれました。これが、動画としての唯一の記録です。  そして、昨年(2020)の2月に、ニュージーランドのAuclandの演奏に招かれた折、From Scratchの Phil Dadsonから矢庭にプレゼントされたのが、 この「石の笛」です。久しぶりに再会した彼は、以前無くした「石の笛」のことを覚えていてくれたのです。ぼくのために、近くの浜で似たものを拾っておいたんだと。 Philは、長年の”stone friend” なのです。 - Akio SUZUKI “ m e r i d i a n s c e n e r y “  と子午線と景(ひかり)をくっつけてしかも半角あけて作りました (東洋人が勝手にこんなことして良いのかナ) 意味はぼくの住む丹後は日本標準時の135度線上の最北地です この季節に演奏をしたので正直に名付けました 季節の情景でもあり景子さんに捧げてもいます

Akio Suzuki – " m e r i d i a n s c e n e r y "

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