ICC Report

NEWSCHOOL

KONDO Toshinori Blows across
áReversible Destiny Cityâ


March 20, 1998. ICC Gallery A


Since moving to the States in 1978, KONDO Toshinori has preferred performing in foreign lands. His current base activity is his studio in Amsterdam. (In fact, his former band was named IMA-- International Music Activities.) So most of his fellow performers are "foreigners," which inevitably makes KONDO himself a "foreigner," while at the same time heightening his own awareness of being a Japanese. This manifests itself in his many criticisms of Japanese society and the Japanese mentality often heard in his daily speech and proclaimed in his writings. ARAKAWA Shusaku is another Japanese who left--he went to the States in 1961. He has also been consistently critical of his own country and has held it up as a thing which must eventually change.

This recent collaboration between the like-minded two experimented with the interchange between music and architecture. KONDO himself became part of the exhibition environment, his electric horn blowing across the áReversible Destiny Cityâ in varied vivid tones and overwhelming volumes, as if taking a stand against the imaginations of ARAKAWA/GINS's. He improvised on his electric trumpet, employing various technologies to loop sounds and groove them around, or using a base of DAT-recorded backing sounds to weave a wall of sound.

KONDO didn't use any special lighting, or other stagecraft. Instead, he used the exhi-bition space as a stage, taking his performance cues from the cycle of the spotlights in place--another day in the City. The performance was made of two parts divided by an intermission and in roughly one and a half hours it was all over.

Just as the technology and structure of ARAKAWA/GINS's City aroused a physicality and awareness in the visitor, KONDO's performance took the technology called "trumpet," and took a stand, waking up everybody in the house, everybody in the City.

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