Semi​-​Impressionism (kk020)

by Tetuzi Akiyama + Toshimaru Nakamura

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Text by Toshimaru Nakamura

While me and Tetuzi were playing in a city called Novisad, a local journalist came up to us. He seemed pretty drunk and we wanted to keep distance from him but the guy insisted "Let me speak one more word". At first with a tweaking voice and then loudly he claims "Zen Noise". He probably meant "the Zen" noise but we were wondering what his point was at first. After few days, me and Tetuzi were on the land of Sweden. One morning, in a hotel lobby, we found a review of our performance on some newspaper. They noted our duo "Zen Impressionism". Comparing (if that is possible in the first place..) to the Zen knowledge of the average Japanese, mine is poor so I felt a little guilty being rewarded with such a magnificent word. At the same time, I felt the word "Zen" is being used so convenient and easily.. To tell the truth, we are used to playing abroad so I would say this isn't the first time being expressed in that manner. When I was young, I felt sometimes irritated being said in this way. But now, I would just think "oh, just like always" or "haven't been struck like this for a long time" and these comments wouldn't really hurt or itch myself at all. But then again, and somehow this time, we got excited with a morning coffee discussing "we must not let this go, we have to drop a message to this". So our action was to release a CD entitled "Zen Impressionist". How brave! Anyway, so it means this CD existed before the quality of the sound. We decided to express the "Zen" letter in calligraphy so we asked a calligrapher to draw the letter. Our hope was to have it drawn in a dynamic stroke to express the excellence of the word. And if it was written by a calligraphy brush, we also thought it would give foreigners an impression that they might have seen the word somewhere. When looking at the result of the drawing, we found out that the left part of the "Zen" letter was slightly different and instead formed the word "Semi (=cicadas)". Cicadas are noisy insects in the summertime. It turned out that the sample letter we provided to the calligrapher was miswritten. I guess the calligrapher also shook her head wondering why we had her write just the word "Semi".

Episode by Toshimaru Nakamura

I was taking a walk in a park, a huge area that was once a castle built by a warrior in the Muromachi era, and later became a place of retirement for the first Edo Shogun, Ieyasu Tokugawa. The sound of cicadas was so intense that it made my ears itch. I was curious and wanted to see some of these insects, so I looked up into the branches of one of the large trees, though I could not see a single cicada. I tried searching in another tree, yet still could not find one. Meanwhile, I had been somewhat blinded by the glare of the morning sky and my neck had begun to ache, and so I gave up. I started to walk again, thinking that there was something I had missed, or simply did not understand. Cicadas were crying or screaming, or whatever, at the top of their voices, yet it seemed as though they did not want to be seen. If they needed to hide themselves from their enemies, they had better of stay quiet. It made no sense to me. Wanted to be heard but not seen? Oh … hey yes, I see … I get it.


released October 22, 2009

Tetuzi Akiyama : acoustic guitar
Toshimaru Nakamura : no-input mixing board

track 1:
recorded by Erik Carlsson and Henrik Olsson at Haga Teatern in Goteborg, at Norrkopings Konstmuseum in Norrkoping and at Kulturkiosken in Gavle, Sweden (17, 19, 20, May 2008)

track 2:
recorded by Erik Carlsson and Henrik Olsson at Fylkingen in Stockholm, Sweden (15 May 2008)

track 3:
recorded by Noid at Rhiz in Vienna, Austria (26 May 2008)

Concerts in Sweden were organised by Erik Carlsson and Henrik Olsson
Concerts in Vienna was organised by Billy Roisz and Dieb 13

edited and mixed by Toshimaru Nakamura
mastered by Zengyo

calligraphy by Nobuko Yasuda
drawings and stamp created by Satoshi Ogawa
artwork design by mondii

English text was previously presented as an accompany for Nakamura's music piece in a sound exhibition "21:100:100" at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces (GCAS), Melbourne, Australia 2008, translated by Jared Davis

Thanks to Erik, Henrik, Billy, Dieter, Sylvia Faesler, Burkhard Stangl and Kae Uchihashi


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