Makoto Oshiro and Yasufumi Suzuki Duo

Noise. Sunday night at Loop-Line in Sendagaya (right around the corner from my apartment), I had the chance to attend an event where artists explored the possibilities of using sound frequencies and noise to create art/music.

Makoto Oshiro, who I had previously met and interviewed, was among the most interesting acts. Joined by “DJ” Yasufumi Suzuki, Makoto put on a visual and aural journey like nothing I have ever seen. I put quotes around DJ because I think the general perception of a DJ does not fit Suzuki’s style. Rather than letting records play, Suzuki controlled whiz pops, gargles and fuzz that never really took on a rhythmic form or melodic structure.

Buzzing alongside Suzuki, with a camera in his hand, stood Makoto Oshiro. Makoto rigged a video camera to convert light frequencies and color values into sound frequencies. As he moves his camera across an array of homemade light objects and television monitors, the sound frequencies change and provide various augmentations of sound waves. Makoto has invited me to his studio for another interview and to give me a better explanation of exactly what is going on.

The performance felt more like an art installation than a concert. These explorations and experiments with sound waves seem to blur the border between art and music. Artists like Makoto and Yasufumi are stretching the boundaries for what can be defined as music. They’re taking a close look at the sonic possibilities that technology can offer. There is a whole sub-scene in Tokyo of noise musicians.

I think this movement exists elsewhere as artists are stripping music down to the defining element of sound. Artists are bending circuits and creating original instruments as a means to create, control and produce any and all sounds that technology will allow. Is this the future of music? Maybe we can compare it to modern movements in art or music. Can we compare it to the change from figure and still paintings to the “anything goes” splatters and experiments of modern/contemporary art? Or how about the introduction of atonality and free form rhythms in music? Facilitated by technological variables and sound frequency variations, is this new generation of noise art pushing music into a new paradigm? Maybe. I am going to continue to see noise artists in Tokyo and maybe I will be able to offer a more educated opinion later.