The lack of posting could be a kind reflection of how hectic its been over here although, the film has pressed on and in the recent lull of posting we’ve actually been active at shows (Optrum, Hair Stylistics was properly exceptional) in addition to writing (Eye Yamataka interview in Dazed & Confused, Feb 09), research and of course, editing footage into the darker (…and then brighter) hours of the day. Two weeks ago, one of our familiar faces, Hiroshi Hasegawa aka Astro collaborated with Batur Sonmez aka Analog Suicide from Istanbul Turkey at Shinjuku Urga. It was part of Lunatic Scope Volume 12, a line up which featured Bastard Noise, Defektro and Government Alpha.
Even though our cameraman couldn’t make it at the last minute, we still followed through on Hasegawa’s invitation. Afterwards, I had a nice albeit brief chat which we continued over email and so I’ll post some words I translated from Hasegawa with some images to go along. We’ll cut part 2 of our interview with Hasegawa-san in the near future and be sure to post a clip on our Youtube and Vimeo channels. In the meantime….
My attention was initially drawn to what seemed the latest addition to Hasegawa’s fold up table- a mysterious retro-looking box and what appeared to be gold-coated paper. Hasegawa’s set was centered around two metallic (about A4 size) sheets; shiny and paper thin. On where their role: “well, those metallic sheets, I had attached contact microphones which worked to pick up the friction and vibrations when I shook or slid the sheets against each other.” In addition to the pedal set up below his table, Hasegawa was in true analog-form running the smaller contact microphones through a high voltage, all-tube analog annihilator; essentially the ‘box’ on the table which all eyes seemed to gravitate towards at one moment or another (I have a weblink if anyone wants to know). “Since my performance is based around my [analog, ed] synthesizer and effector set up, I’m somewhat limited to what extent I can move my body so these sheets gave me some more freedom not only in terms of sound but also movement.”
We briefly went on to discuss collaborations and how the evening went with both Sonmez and Reiko A. While Astro was enthralled with the sheets (and the occasional reattaching of the contact mics), he commented, “of course, I think its important to not only hear, but also to be conscious of your collaborator’s sounds- its very much like a regular sign that is read.” Meanwhile, Reiko A’s dance performance, punctuated with fixed stares, corpse-like poses on the floor as well as firmly locked ones via angular jukes, was familiar of the Butoh aesthetic in broader strokes. “Yeah, I’ve been playing together with Reiko for quite some time and so we I can really read her signals pretty well. From that gathered sense of communication, I’ve come to more fully realize the importance of her signs and movements. I can observe the movements Reiko makes, and while they are natural reactions, from my sounds, and she’s expressing in a physical way, its like a language that gives me a more composite idea of what is happening during the performance.”
(All photos courtesy N. Yamamoto-Masson, 2009/Posted By Vicente Gutierrez)