Wednesday, February 29, 2012

anthropology of anthology/anthology of anthropology-Classwar Karaoke

Classwar Karaoke is a UK-based netlabel run by those musicians Anthony Donovan (aka murmurists), Adrian Beetjes, and Jaan Peterson. They issue quarterly--what they call--surveys. For each survey they collect tens of tracks licensed under a Creative Commons License. This time their 0017 Survey includes my least ambitious piece "Winter Sketch." Some names appearing in this compilation album are already familiar to me--I became to know murmurists via myspace (which I don't check these days) and am following Anthony Donovan, Chris Lynn, MaCu, Noise Research (who runs another netlabel Electronic Musik), and Wilhelm Matthies on SoundCloud. And Bob Ostertag is quite famous. I cannot help thinking about how times have changed. I'm old enough to know those times I had to rely on critics in order to know musicians across the world. I became to listen to those musicians such as Ostertag, Oval, Yoshihide Otomo, and so on because I read about them. Now we bypass the critics. I don't say critics are dead (I still read some of them), but they are certainly no longer gatekeepers.

Making an anthology is one thing, making an anthology listened is another. I think it's a good strategy that those operators of Classwar Karaoke do it collectively since you may not listen an anthology collected by one obscure person.

Read the short-bios of the musicians involved in Classwar Karaoke on

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

play Randy, play

I've enjoyed watching Amy Goodman interviewing Randy Weston.

For those who want to listen to his music:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

is mine an apolitical musician's political blog? (2)

There are many courageous people I admire. Demanding that those in power shut down all the nuclear power plants, some people have been camping at a corner of METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade, Industry of Japan) site since they started sitting in (including hanger strike) in September. Many of them appear to have no history of militancy whatsoever.

Last week I joined an anti-nukes rally that took place in Shibuya. The organizer announced that 12,000 showed up. Many protesters were from unions. I heard that some participants didn't like that the unions carried their flags. Such participants might have disliked the unions' 'conformity'--such as their way of chanting. I think unions are still important. Many historians may say that why May 1968 Paris uprising was different from the other uprisings in America and Japan was that in Paris the unions and students went hand in hand. Conformism is one thing, collectivism is another.

Tomorrow (February 19) in Suginami City, a western suburb of Tokyo including Koenji district where a game changing festive anti-nukes demo on April 10, 2011, a demo entitled 'De-nuke Suginami' will take place. Its website says, "we are inclusive, welcoming all the parties and groups. We are the multitude." I'll be there, and then visit the camping site at METI.

In his Why Kicking Off Everywhere, Mason analyses historical uprisings according to a dichotomy between individualism and collectivism. Simply put, there was an era of individualism until 1914, and then an era of collectivism (including fascism and totalitarianism) until the 1960s. He continues to argue that since then until today we have had an era of individualism--he calls it a second 'la belle epoque,' and that we are on the verge of entering another era of collectivism--but we don't know because we now have this network society... I somehow feel that his dichotomy is a typical Anglo-Saxon way of seeing (I'm biased, of course). I will continue to think about this.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Paul Mason at the LSE

I've just got a copy of his WHY IT'S KICKING OFF EVERYWHERE: THE NEW GLOBAL REVOLUTIONS. Though he emphasizes the role of social media, he doesn't call the Egyptian Revolution "Facebook Revolution." In his book he describes how Cairo's slum was before the event and examines the conditions of the revolution. This is a good read.

let it speak

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

is mine an apolitical musician's political blog?

I guess that those who have got to here via are disappointed that I rarely talk about music or surprised that my blog appears to be a bit political especially these days. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, I is a blog run by San Francisco-based (I think so) art, music critic Marc Weidenbaum and a couple of weeks ago he introduced my track on SoundCloud called Be It So, which I made by processing the materials Chris Lynn, an American sound artist/filmmaker gave me. I thank Weidenbaum for his accurate description (when describing a piece of music or sound art, he is always accurate).

Weidenbaum curates and commissions. He recently uploaded a set of beautiful "sonic postcards"--eight musicians were commissioned by him to deal with Lisbon's environmental sounds.

Read the description by Marc Weidenbaum on his SoundCloud page and on

He also curates a SoundCloud group called Disquiet junto. In this project, every week he decides source materials for musicians to assign a track, like, "make a piece out of rattling ice cubes in a glass," "make a piece out of these old cylinder recordings." At this moment I'm too busy to participate, but enjoy listening to the assignments. The thing is, now the contributors are swelling and in order to listen to all the tracks assigned I have to be a full-time listener.

Friday, February 3, 2012

me in okinawa