Tetsuro Yasunaga of Minamo presents “Meditation Breakdown” on Symbiosis Radio.
Japanese artist Tetsuro Yasunaga is a curator, organiser and sound artist. He is a member of the groups Minamo, HELLL, and VOIMA and a major part of the Japanese sound art community. I asked him to put together a mix following the release of Minamo’s latest album on 12k, Durée. Meditation Breakdown is a beautiful mix of styles and sound textures. I hope you enjoy the interview and mix.
You have been releasing music since 1999 right?
Tell us about how you started producing music and what led you to this style?
I haven’t learned any music skills - can’t read scores and play no instruments.The biggest influence that lead me to play music in this style is Cluster’s second album. It taught me that texture of sound is much more important than melody and rhythm for me to listen. So I started to explore the possibility of sound with electronic stuff.
And the second biggest thing is the encounter with keiichi(aka Fourcolor / co-founder of minamo). I started to try a combination of experimental sounds and slight melodies - investigate the mixture of abstract and narrativity with him. That’s the beginning of Minamo.
How would you say your sound and your practise has changed over the years?
Recently we tend to accept roughness and accidents. We come to use acoustic instruments more than computer (the most recent concert we didn’t use any computers).
You recently released the first Minamo album since 2007. Why was there such a long break between records?
There’s no special meaning there. The recording was between 2007-2008 so we don’t think we stopped making music during the time.
Have you been performing live as a group?
Yes. Mimamo as a quartet.
What other musical projects are you involved with right now? Are you doing more installations?
Avant-folk / psych-drone band HELLL with Asuna, Sakiyo Tobita, Jason Funk and Jeff Fuccilo of Hochenkeit.
Laptop duo VOIMA with Yasufumi Suzuki of commune disc.
Audio and visual unit HAKONE with Taxxaka(visual artist).
Also I made my solo sound installation in art exhibitions two times and one time as minamo.
Is music a full time job for you or do you have a ‘day job’?
I’m mainly working as a booking agency of concerts and art exhibitions in Tokyo. Artists I booked in a past are like : Cluster, Jackie-O Motherfucker, Lau Nau, Islaja, Tara Jane O’Neil, Alog, Alexander Rishaug, Jana Winderen, Greg Davis etc.
Also I’m working in a company researching children’s creativity, designing kid’s furnitures and having handycrafts workshop with Infants.
Symbiosis Episode 47 - Tetsuro Yasunaga - Meditation Breakdown
“Sound could be regarded as music when it was related with some other factors in one’s mind; word, visual, body, information, context, time, space, and mentality… On the new album “Durée” of our project Minamo, we tried to reconsider a certain framework that we commonly recognize sound as music. I made this DJ mix under the same conception - even though all the sounds were picked from MUSICIANS’ MUSIC, you can also accept them as a continuous flow and vibration. in this viewpoint, we can enjoy some kind of different listening experience, I believe.” - Tetsuro Yasunaga
Pauline Oliveros - The Tuning Meditation
Minamo - Mot
Nudge - Sickth
Henry flynt - C Tune
White Rainbow - Sand Sift
Tsukimono - I’ ve Got To Go
Youngsbower - Opaline Retrieval
Franco Battiato - Zâ
Charlemagne Palestine - One + Two + Three Fifths In The Rhythm Three Against Two For Bösendorfer Piano
Roberto Cacciapaglia - Sei Note in Logica
Borthwick hollAnd Fillers - Helene
Potoratch - Field Recording #1
Alexander Turnquist - The REM Cycle - Dream Phase
Andreas Dahl - Untitled
Tangerine Dream - Movements of a Visionary
Atlas Sound - Nightwork
Ianis Xenakis - Concret PH
Kumiko Akiyoshi - Mirai Eno Omoide