Gaspar Claus - Jo Ha Kyu - CD/2LP
First 100 copies on clear vinyl and include a 33" x 23" poster of the cover artwork from the Japanese edition. Mailorder customers will receive two posters - one for hanging and one for saving.
Modern Japanese culture is colored, in part, by ancestral shades. Where other countries are willing to forget their past as they move forward, Japan values local tradition over global culture.
Japanese tradition is clearly evident in the music of the Japanese avant-garde. One can easily detect that they belong to the great tradition of Japanese music which continues through them.
Jo-ha-kyu is a concept of modulation and movement applied in a wide variety of traditional Japanese arts. Roughly translated to "beginning, break, rapid," it essentially means that all actions or efforts should begin slowly, speed up, and then end swiftly. Jo-Ha-Kyu has been used in many aspects of Japanese culture including writing music, dance, theater, literature and even floral arrangement or tea service.
Tradition belongs more to the present than the past.
For three weeks Parisian cellist and composer Gaspar Claus met with traditional and modern Japanese musicians in a Tokyo studio to record Jo Ha Kyu. Performing with Claus on this piece are:
Eiko Ishibashi (voice, piano, drums)
Keiji Haino (voice)
Kakushin Nishihara (voice, satsuma biwa)
Ryuichi Sakamoto (piano)
Hiromichi Sakamoto (electric cello)
Sachiko M (sine wave)
Otomo Yoshihide (turntable)
Leonard Eto (wadaiko)
Kazutoki Umezu (tenor saxophone)
Kazuki Tomokawa (voice, guitar)
1. Jo Ha Kyu
2. First Contact #4 (with Hiromichi Sakamoto)
3. First Contact #5 (with Otomo Yoshihide)
Jo Ha Kyu
"It swells and swirls towards a climax that dissolves under its own intensity, like a burned-through celluloid frame. Just as the music seems set to build in dynamics, textural richness and emotional temperature, it's gone. The piece conveys a kind of shy intimacy, a gift of association that is never brash or competitive but has the grace and simplicity, as well as the depths of meaning, of a tea ceremony." ~ Wire