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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Akio Suzuki - Mu Ro Bi Ko (Senufo, 2014) ***

By Stefan Wood

Akio Suzuki is known as a sound artist, one who examines the concept of making sounds, how it is heard, and the relationships between it and the listener.  For over 55 years he has devoted his art to the desire and art of listening to sounds, and he has performed internationally at galleries and performance spaces.

Mu Ro Bi Ko is a live recording of a performance in Milano, Italy, playing the Analapos (an echo instrument that Suzuki invented), rocks, and a glass harmonica.  It is only 34 minutes long, comprising of three tracks.  Analapos, running over 11 minutes, is a very concentrated effort comprising of sounds, vocals, etc., that are painterly in their use -- the elements are not linear, but seem to come in clusters, break up, then reappear in a different form.  The use of silence is very important, as one becomes very aware of it in relation to the sounds, like positive and negative.  Stones at just over six minutes is percussion using stones.  Glass Harmonica, the final piece, at over 15 minutes, is the most interesting track, as Suzuki seems to cull from a history of Japanese percussive music with a battery of rhythms and sounds, delicate and loud.

Mu Ro Bi Ko as a sound performance piece is an example of an experienced artist at work, and for those who are interested in sonic art, this is a welcome addition.