Seijiro Murayama, Jason Roebke, and Brian Labycz

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Performing Arts

Mar 201022

Renaissance Society Hyde Park
5811 S. Ellis Ave.
Chicago, Illinois
United States

Japanese percussionist Seijiro Murayama first made his name in the mid-80s as the explosive engine driving the brutally ugly noise rock of Absolut Null Punkt with guitarist KK Null. (The group reunited in 2004 and has since made several more albums.) He also played on the first proper release by Keiji Haino's blistering, mystical Fushitsusha, a live double LP from 1989. So when I heard some of his recent work, I was floored. Since moving to Paris in 1999, Murayama has been immersed in improvised music, much of it quiet, serene, and nonpercussive. On the 2007 release Hatali Atsalei (Intransitive)—a wonderfully strange collaboration with French musique concrete artist Lionel Marchetti, according to its liner notes based on "Greek ritual music"—he sings or makes weird vocal sounds more often than he does anything with a drum. On last year's Space and Place (Ftarri), a duo with Tokyo multi-instrumentalist Soundworm (credited here with sound engineering and "suggestions"), he creates unidentifiable friction sounds as well as gusting drones dominated by electronically enhanced cymbals and other metal objects, both bowed and struck. His most recent album with American sound artist Michael Northam, the 2009 disc Moriendo Renascor(Xing-Wu), is so heavily processed and edited it's hard to tell what Murayama played or how—Northam began with what he calls "composted recordings" made in Lisbon, Portugal, and Astoria, Oregon, fusing Murayama's muted metallic clatter with digitally transmogrified environmental sounds to create hypnotizing atmospheres that twinkle, glow, hover, and throb. See also Tuesday. —Peter Margasak

From the Chicago Reader:


intrepidmouse . Last modified Jul 09 2010 12:14 p.m.


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