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ADACHI Tomomi on John Cage: ...John Cage's music opened a door for a new world. Fontana (YouTube) Mix by ADACHI Tomomi, 2012 Chinese Characters for Instrument: a series of graphic scores/visual poems/text scores Self-made instruments Concerts in Tokyo: ADACHI Tomomi & Ensemble for Experimental Music and Theater perform John Cage's Fontana Mix, 1958. Performances, January 29 and 30. (Details below) Concert will be presented on mid February. Biography Curator: Carol Parkinson, Executive Director, Harvestworks


Photo by Matthias Groebel. A recording of Adachi’s performance “Voice and Infrared Sensor Shirt” with a pinhole camera, the exposure time was the duration of the performance at Harvestworks, New York in 2010.

When I was 15 years old, John Cage's music opened a door for a new world. Already I was a contemporary music lover living in a local city in Japan, I had heard even Cage's early pieces but not pieces of indeterminacy. One day I listened to a radio broadcasting of "Etcetera 2" which was premiered in Japan in 1986. I must say I totally didn't understand what was it at the first time. It was extremely boring but enigmatic. I listened to an air-checked cassette tape over and over again because the boredom highly stimulated my interest. I believe it was my first experience to understand the meaning of art. I read his words and tried to understand what he thought (to buy his book was much easier than to get his recordings in the city, it was totally impossible to listen to live performances of his music until I moved to Tokyo). After the experiences, I was attracted to a wide range of art forms as punk/new wave rock, modern visual art, contemporary dance and theater, and my interest for the eastern philosophies (especially taoism) became stronger.

Now, my art is far from John Cage's one, even I have some critical opinions for his ideas, for example, his optimistic political view and a kind of Orientalism for eastern thoughts. Nevertheless, I cannot imagine my works without his influences. ADACHI Tomomi, 2012


Fontana (YouTube) Mix by ADACHI Tomomi, 2012

Fontana (YouTube) Mix is a realization of John Cage's graphic score of Fontana Mix. As John Cage composed a tape piece with this score, I executed 100 times of measurements of the graphic score for this recording which was originally used for a part of 1 hour collective live performance of "Fontana Mix". All operations followed Cage's score precisely, but the biggest difference from his own realization is sound sources. I extracted sound tracks from top 20 charts of YouTube movies, used them as sound sources. This recording must reflect the present soundscape on the internet. Finally I condensed it into 100 seconds.


ADACHI Tomomi Chinese Characters for Instrument a series of graphic scores/visual poems/text scores

All elements of scores consist of zoomed, reversed and/or superimposed Chinese characters (Mincho-tai font) which only express the instrumentation as their titles describe. If the tile is "For Piano," the word "Piano" is translated in Chinese Characters, only the characters are used in the score. They must include our understandings about the instrumentation/instrument visually because Chinese character is ideogram.

Though there are no instructions for musical performances because these scores are autonomous works and self-referential instructions on themselves, musical interpretations are encouraged.

These pieces are intermedia among graphic score, visual poetry and text score, the method of visual poetry connects the idea of graphic score with text score.

(ADACHI Tomomi, August 2011)


Self-made Instruments

ADACHI Tomomi - Tomoring II, 2008, self-made John Cage, playing amplified cacti and plant instrument. Springs, metal wires, combs, etc material with a feather. Excerpt from Good Morning, Mr. Orwell, 1984, by Nam June Paik


Concerts ADACHI Tomomi & Ensemble for Experimental Music and Theater John Cage Fontana Mix 1958

January 29, 2012, 15:00 Windscafe 181 Toria Gallery (Nishi-Ogikubo, Tokyo) Free admission (donation)

January 30, 2012, afternoon Tokyo Wondersite Shibuya (Tokyo) 2000 yen (reservation required)



ADACHI Tomomi (family name is ADACHI), born in Kanazawa, Japan in 1972, is performer, composer, sound poet, installation artist, occasional theater director. He studied philosophy and aesthetics at Waseda University in Tokyo. He has played improvised music with voice, live electronics and self-made instruments. He had composed works for his own group "Adachi Tomomi Royal Chorus" which is a punk-style choir. He has performed contemporary music: vocal, live-electronics or performance works by John Cage, Cornelius Cardew, Christian Wolff, Tom Johnson, Dieter Schnebel, TAKAHASHI Yuji, YUASA Joji and Fluxus including world premier and Japan premier as Cage’s Variations VII, Europera 5, and Waterwalk.

Tomomi is the only performer of sound poetry in Japan and has performed Kurt Schwitters' Ursonate for the first time in Japan. He has made several sound installations and original instruments (e.g."Tomomin", his hand made electric instrument is familiar with many musicians). In the field of theater music, he has collaborated with some experimental theaters and dancers.He also has organized many concerts which picks up experimental music, sound art, collaboration work and inter-disciplinary performance in Japan and Germany, include concerts for Chris Mann, Trevor Wishart, Nicolas Collins and STEIM in Japan.

He has performed with numerous musicians, dancers and film makers including Jaap Blonk, Nicolas Collins, Carl Stone, TAKAHASHI Yuji, SAKATA Akira, ICHIYANAGI Toshi, TANAKA Yumiko, dj sniff, Jerome Noetinger, SUZUKI Akio, Alessandro Bosseti, FURUDATE Tetsuo, Jennifer Walshe, Dickson Dee, Zbigniew Karkowski, Johannes Bergmark, Erhart hirt, MAKIGAMI Koichi, Butch Morris, Jon Rose, OTOMO Yoshihide, ITOH Kim, Monika Klingler, IIMURA Takahiko, ISHIDA Takashi.

He has presented his works in Japan, Europe, U.S., Australia and other asian countries at many kinds venues include Tate Modern, IRCAM/Centre Pompidou, Waker Art Center, STEIM, Experimental Intermedia, Merkin Hall, Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Roulette, Tonic, The National Museum of Art Osaka, Super Deluxe, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, La Mama Theatre Melbourne, Anthology Film Archives, 21th Century Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa and Vooruit. He has given lectures at Tama Art University, Yotsuya Art Studium, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Mills College, Bard College and London College of Communication.

As a critic, he has written about visual art, music and performance art on papers and magazines. He had participated in an art theory bulletin "Method" 2000-2001. He started visual art (video and installation) in 2003. He stayed in New York 2009-2010 as an Asian Cultural Council grantee. Also he was awarded the DAAD invited composer for Berlin 2012. His CDs were released from Naya Records, Tzadik and Omegapoint.

Recently, he is focusing his activities on solo performance (with voice, sensors, computer, self-made instruments), sound poetry (especially to the unknown great Japanese sound poetry tradition), video installation and workshop style big ensemble with non-professional voices and instruments. Currently living in Tokyo.


ADACHI Tomomi Curator: Carol Parkinson, Executive Director, Harvestworks

Founded as a not-for-profit organization by artists in 1977, Harvestworks has helped a generation of artists create new works using technology. Our mission is to support the creation and presentation of art works achieved through the use of new and evolving technologies. Our goals are to create an environment where artists can make work inspired and achieved by electronic media; to create a responsive public context for the appreciation of new work by presenting and disseminating the finished works; to advance the art community's and the public's "agenda" for the use of technology in art; and to bring together innovative practitioners from all branches of the arts collaborating in the use of electronic media. We assist with commissions and residencies, production services, education and information programs, and the presentation and distribution of their work., 596 Broadway #602 New York, NY 10012 • phone 212.431.1130


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