Toshiya Tsunoda - Landscape and Voice Music Album Reviews

Toshiya Tsunoda - Landscape and Voice Music Album Reviews
On a visceral new album, the Japanese sound artist blends field recordings with glitches and loops to conjure the push-pull flow of a world in flux.

The work of Toshiya Tsunoda, the Japanese sound artist widely considered one of the most important field recordists of the past quarter century, is distinguished by its startling precision of thought and sound, united in the belief that our settings are always living, never fixed or frozen in time. In his words: “Place is always moving, like a sleeping cat.” Not content to treat the field recording as a rigid document or abstract sound material, Tsunoda—who has a background in oil painting—prefers to zero in on the complexities of human perception and consciousness. His music positions the “field” as not merely physical but also a subjective mental map created in real time by the listener.

On his latest album, Landscape and Voice, Tsunoda applies a glitching technique—most notably used on 2013’s o kokos tis anixis (Grains of Spring)—that pauses the free passage of time by looping tiny segments of the “field” for varying durations and pairing those grains with short, vowel-like human utterances. Whereas the glitches on Grains of Spring were sometimes so subtle they were unnoticeable, on Landscape and Voice—a 25-minute culmination of Tsunoda’s aesthetic and philosophical research—they take center stage, constantly disrupting the listening experience and making it one of his most visceral works. While many sound artists like Francisco Lopez work along similarly noisy lines, Tsunoda’s work stands alone in its measured, tactical fracturing of reality; here, water, wind, and birdsong are recognizable as such, but they somehow bear traces of the inaudible—air itself, sun and shadow—with a nearly psychedelic intensity.

Opener “At the port” begins almost conventionally, with a gurgling lap of water in the right ear and scattered birdsong arcing from left to center. However, a mere 30 seconds in, the pristine field is shattered by the glitch: A disembodied voice loops “eh” in tandem with the stuttering field recording, and we are thrust into a seemingly artificial space. Tsunoda phases landscape and voice out of sync with one another; the two gradually separate by infinitesimal degrees before the landscape—water dripping from leaves, wind rippling through foliage—comes flooding back. While some of these interruptions are soothing and almost humorous, like the looped boing of droplets halfway through “At the port,” others, like the shrill whistle of sparrows on “In the grass field,” pierce with shocking force. It becomes clear that the human experience is always relational: What we might ignore in one context crashes harshly in another.

On “Studies,” Tsunoda centers the glitch, silencing the landscape and only working in short looped phrases. By cycling through these frozen moments in an overtly mechanical way, Tsunoda highlights process versus result, making clear that even in stasis there is motion. The push-pull flow of the music itself communicates this flux: Because “Studies” comes after “At the port,” each glitch conjures glimpses of the unaltered landscape, which rapidly burst and dissipate like flares in the mind. Meanwhile, the percussive vocal repetitions—each of which catches a slice of landscape as if by accident—establish rhythmic patterns that linger in the web of rumbling vehicles, chirping insects, and the disembodied scraping of metal pipes on concrete, encouraging us to make connections between human and nature, subject and object, synthetic and organic. More than simply attuning us to background noise we may have previously ignored, Landscape and Voice reminds us that we are active subjects, shaping the world just as it shapes us.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Toshiya Tsunoda - Landscape and Voice Music Album Reviews Toshiya Tsunoda - Landscape and Voice Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on June 20, 2022 Rating: 5


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