Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Yasunao Tone & Florian Hecker

by

comment

Yasunao Tone is hardly the only guy out there making music out of the imperfections in digital music technology. But while musicians like Markus Popp (Oval), Frank Bretschneider, and Vladislav Delay arrange those errors into accessible patterns, Tone embraces their raw unpredictability. A key figure in Japan's Fluxus movement in the early 60s, he began experimenting with this stuff in 1985. Most glitch musicians merely scratch the disc so it's misread, but Tone found a way to disable a disc player's error-correcting program--he placed a bit of Scotch tape punctured with pinholes on the playing surface of a CD of Debussy's Preludes, radically altering the pitch and timbre of the playback. He continued experimenting with prepared CDs, and in 1997 he released Solo for Wounded CD (Tzadik), a radical doctoring of a copy of his 1993 recording Musica Iconlogos. The harsh, staccato bursts, different in each channel, sputter in a way that yields hardly any kind of rhythmic pattern. It's difficult listening, but the high-frequency aggression of the music is exhilarating. In his Chicago debut, Tone will premiere "Solo for Wounded Man'yo #11, 2002," with source material derived from a binary translation of the characters from a massive ninth-century Japanese poetic text called Man'yoshu. He'll also perform an early-80s piece, "Molecular Music," which uses film projection to trigger light sensors connected to square-wave oscillators, translating the visual information into sound with unpredictable results. He'll be joined by German sound artist Florian Hecker for a new work called "Palimpsest"--Hecker will remix one of Tone's pieces as Tone writes Japanese characters onto an electronic tablet that will translate them into sound. Hecker will also perform a solo computer work called "Stocha Acid Vlook." Saturday, November 30, 10 PM, 6Odum, 2116 W. Chicago; 312-666-0795 or 773-227-3617.

Add a comment