experiments in music

Test Tone vol. 24

Test Tone 24 flyer

Experiments in music

Test Tone presents vol. 24

June 12, 2007 (Tuesday) 20:00 to 24:00 at Super Deluxe, Nishi Azabu, Tokyo.


Tetragrammaton + Yasumune Morishige (cello) + Kinya 'Zulu' Tsuruyama (butoh dance) + Shantell Martin (live drawing)

TetragrammatonYasumune MorishigeTetragrammaton is a new psychedelic free form unit featuring TOMO (saxophones, hurdy-gurdy, effects), Cal Lyall (guitar, effects) and Ken Nobunaga (drums). From early this year they have played regularly at venues in Tokyo, uncovering a plethora of sounds that shifts between layered soundscapes to free jazz to ambient swathes of droning loops. Guaranteed doses of ecstatic saxophone, stumbling drums, and an array of non-guitar sounds from the guitar will be matched by the inspired cello playing of Yasumune Morishige (a.k.a. Mori-shige), who appears as a special guest with the trio. Mori-shige has appeared at Test Tone in the past, joining Damo Suzuki in a line-up with heavy-hitters Mitsuru Nasuno and Jimanica, holding his own with intensity and improvisational genius, and we're glad to have him back.

ZuluShantell MartinThe performance will be augmented by the signature dancing of Kinya 'Zulu' Tsuruyama, who has gained a name for himself worldwide, firmly within the 'butoh' tradition of Japanese improvisational dance. For those who know the scene, he needs no introduction, but for others, the best place to start would be 'Dairakudakan', the world-famous butoh troupe started by avant-garde pioneer Akaji Maro back in the '70s. After performing worldwide with this legendary group, Zulu went on to form his own troupe, Yan-Shu, while lending his talents to theater and the screen (most notably appearing in Peter Greenaway's 'The Pillow Book') and teaching workshops in Canada, Germany, Mexico and the U.S.A.

Finally, joining the circus from behind the projection booth, Shantell Martin will provide stunning visuals with her inimitable drawings, covering the walls with an interconnected veil of hallucinatory lines and images. This is the third time we have invited her back, and we consider her a important member of Test Tone who represents very much what we are trying to achieve at the event. If you have not seen her amazing work yet, this is your chance. Mark your calendar!

Yasumune Morishige on MySpace
Kinya 'Zulu' Tsuruyama
Shantell Martin

Myth Delusion Empire + Yumikofu (live painting)

Myth Delusion EmpireYumikofu tarot card detailOriginally started by ex-Green Milk from the Planet Orange bass player, Takashi 'Benjian' Homma, Myth Delusion Empire has gone through a number of changes since its first inception in 2003. Starting as an offshoot of Homma's musicial activities, it grew into a genuine band after finding 16-year old saxophone strongman Akikiko Andou in 2003. After a number of member rotations, the band finally fell into its present formation last year, with the inclusion of Yoshiko M (flute), Akanova (piano) and Daigo Wakasugi (drums). Their music balances savvy jazz compositions with electrifying improvisational sections for a listening experience that lives up to their name, which evokes 21st century memories of Sun Ra and his Arkestra.

Joining Myth Delusion Empire in their performance will be artist Yumikofu, who often collaborates with dancers and musicians in her works. With an expressive mixture of pen and watercolour, she creates luscious dream-like murals that usually end up decorating her fellow collaborators as often as the canvas. Her exhibition work ranges from sketches to installation pieces, covering entire galleries and/or event spaces such as Loop-line and Art First. In this performance she will mix painting with video projection to fill the space with her unique vision.

Myth Delusion Empire

Oncenth Trio + Rinpa Eshidan (live painting/sculpture)

Oncenth TrioRinpa EshidanOK, it's going to be tough to describe these guys. I've seen Oncenth Trio before and although their music is loosely what you might call jazz, it's hard to know what to expect in any given performance. An anecdote: Last time I saw them play, we were at a less-than-accommodating venue in Shibuya where, due to a scheduling mix-up and the rather obstinate staff, they had 20 minutes to complete their set. In an absolutely stellar show, they ran past their alloted time as the staff removed microphones, disassembled the stage, and swept the floor around them. Undeterred, they played louder and more frenetically as the crowd cheered them into a frothing free-jazz frenzy, with guest saxophonist Kenji 'Noise' Nakamura disassembling his saxophone mid-solo – still playing – to complete the chaos. This show should be no less spectacular, and we are happy to bring back two amazing musicians to Test Tone: Keigo Iwami (double bass) and Ryusaku 'Rutang' Ikezawa (drums), who played as OKHP with Kelly Churko in January. They will be joined by the inventive Kurita Taeko on keyboard, along with other possible guests.

These amazing musicians will be fighting for your attention with innovative painting group Rinpa Eshidan, who since we last invited them (also in January) have gone on to a number of high profile video projects in Japan and overseas. After initially overloading YouTube's servers with requests for their work, they are now seriously in demand for their multimedia performances, as with as the time-lapsed videos from which they launched into the spotlight. For this edition of Test Tone, they will combine video, painting and – in a literal twist of the imagination – pottery wheel, for a carnival atmosphere that should not be missed.

Oncenth Trio on MySpace
Rinpa Eshidan on YouTube

26.05.2007. 20:44