Tokyo 2003 a visit to OFF SITE low noise station
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Off Site Tokyo 2003 - 25. 10. 2003

Stefan Beck performing at Off Site

By misunderstanding there were no turntables, I had to play with mixer, dictaphone, and mp3 player. [video]

Performance and audience at Off Site

I'm not good at playing quiet, although I took lessons from Mr. Yoshihide, also a favourite at OFF SITE's.

OFF SITE is a small project space just five minutes from the center of Shinjuku, located in one of the typical wooden 2floor Japanese houses; beneath DoCoMo tower! > Map

It is operated by Atsuhiro Ito, artist and musician, and his wife, Yukari. They feature music events and art exhibitions as well. I found out about this place through recommendation of Mr. Kobayashi last year.

When I asked for a possiblity to perform there Mr. Ito told me, that I would have to play very very quiet, because of the neighbours. And indeed, the neighbours were just next to the wall, as all these little houses are cramped next to each other.

So the outcome of this evening was, that Mr. Ito fizzled a little bit together with his flashlight, then there was some fizzling by the turntablist, then some fizzling by me. After a break, we all fizzled together. At 10PM it was over and everybody went home.

More Off Site
Mr. Ito + flashlight audience

Mr. Ito employed a special flashlight to support his audio performance.

Visitors, seven alltogether, "enlightened" by Mr. Ito's soundz.

turmtablist after the concert

The other turntablist with his self-modified turntable.

After the concert, Mr. Ito talking to visitors, some of them students from artschool.

second floor off-site book improvised music

The second floor of OFF SITE, some tables, a bar and shelves with books and CDs.

Maybe the bible of Mr. Ito's movement. "Improvised" is a very delicate term, which rather reflects a common understanding of making music, but an analytical instrument for interpretation of music.


Mr. Ito told me that the extreme conditions at OFF SITE as being forced by the neighbours (and authorities) to always play at low volumes have resulted in the development of an aesthetic of it's own. He called it Onkyo Ha, which I read as "sound school", meaning to play in a reduced, subtle way, with lots of silence in the pieces, - cultivated by artists like Otomo Yoshihide and Taku Sugimoto, both frequent guests at OFF SITE.

I think it may also stem from old Japanese reflections on emptiness, like practiced in Zazen or Tea Ceremony, plus a counter measurement towards the extreme noisy and loud environment of Tokyo central.

See more pictures

At Thing Gallery + Studio Adorno

© multi.trudi 2003 - 3587 reads since 09 .12. 2003