Steelplan Improvisations: 2001-2008

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Retrospective album compiling his steelpan live recordings in Europe and Japan from 2001 to 2008. Influenced by Indian improvised traditional music, he changed his main instrument gong (used as symbol of light in Asia in Hypernatural) to Steelpan. For his first tour in Europe in 2002, he made original “un-equal temperament” tuned steelpan by himself. It sounds like Gamelan gong. And he performed steelpan with Max/MSP real time processing for getting drone sound (like tampura in Indian music) from his steelpan sound. After several endeavours for expressing “live” music with complicated and real japtime computer processing, he started to play only acoustic steelpan to realize microtparticulation texture that like computer generated, without computer. This album shows the trail.


[text in the CD]
Big tree covered in ivy as the seasons change, migratory birds in wavering V-formation linear flight, water dropping into a single point eroding a rock, children getting up, babbling and growing and red western sky stained by a slowly setting sun… These examples express a relationship between time and objects (or space). I was interested in the process and a result of time passing and the whole picture consists of accumulated details. It was my starting point and still important for my live performance. However, my approach to music has changed. For expressing this idea by microparticulation and reconstruction of sounds and tunes in time, I used to use self-made steelpan and Max/MSP (computer processing). Microtparticulation is a word I use for “cutting-up” very small sound units with computer. Computer recorded the sound of my steelpan in realtime and cut it up at the same time. Now I use only custom-made acoustic steelpan without electronics to achieve it. This album is made for listening for transitions.
Yoshio Machida Dec. 2008