Itadakimasu: Improvised Duets 1994-2000
Brett Larner, 13 string koto, 17 string bass koto, 21 string gu zheng duos with: Jim O'Rourke, hurdy gurdy Ted Reichman, accordion Samm Bennett, electronics John Shiurba, acoustic guitar Anthony Braxton, woodwinds G.E. Stinson, electric guitar Gianni Gebbia, alto sax, paper cup Taku Sugimoto, acoustic guitar Loren Mazzacane Connors, electric guitar Gino Robair, 13 string koto (duet on one koto) Brett Larner is Canada's premiere performer of new music for the traditional Japanese instrument koto. A Phi Betta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University, Larner has studied with masters Anthony Braxton and Kazue Sawai, and his playing reflects the different lessons learned from these studies. He is active as both improvisor and composer and constantly works to develop new techniques for the koto, most notable in his piece for koto and thirteen gyroscopes, "Telemetry Transmission." Larner has performed both solo and in ensembles throughout Canada, Japan and the United States with musicians including Samm Bennett, Anthony Braxton, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Kevin Drumm, Gianni Gebbia, Kazauo Imai, Fred Lonberg-Holm, John Fahey, Ko Ishikawa, Sachiko M, Phil Minton, Toshimaru Nakamura, John Russell, Richard Teitelbaum, Jim O'Rourke, Tetsu Saitoh, Kazue Sawai, the late Tadao Sawai, Taku Sugimoto and Sabu Toyozumi. He is a member of the contemporary koto ensemble Soemon, Otomo Yoshihide's Portable Orchestra, and works in a duo with Taku Sugimoto. He is the founder and director of both the Deluxe Improvisation Series and Deluxe Improvisation Festival in Tokyo. Jim O'Rourke Born in 1969, composer/improviser/producer Jim O'Rourke has recorded as a member of the experimental rock groups Gastr Del Sol, The Red Krayola, Brise Glace and Yona Kit, recorded a number of his own albums of pop rock, guitar improvisation and musique-concrete compositions on the Drag City, Staalplaat, Extreme, Divided, Entenpfuhl and Metamkine labels, released collaborative recordings with Henry Kaiser, K.K. Null, Gunter Muller, Eddie Prevost, Evan Parker, Phill Niblock and Mats Gustafsson, and produced albums by Tony Conrad, Faust, Melt Banana and Space Streakings. Anthony Braxton Anthony Braxton is widely and critically acclaimed as a seminal figure in the music of the late 20th century. His work, both as a saxophonist and a composer, has broken new conceptual and technical ground in the trans-African and trans-European (a.k.a. 'jazz' and 'American Experimental') musical traditions in North America as defined by master improvisers such as Warne Marsh, John Coltrane, Paul Desmond, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, and he and his own peers in the historic Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM, founded in Chicago in the late '60s); and by composers such as Charles Ives, Harry Partch, and John Cage. He has further worked his own extensions of instrumental technique, timbre, meter and rhythm, voicing and ensemble make-up, harmony and melody, and improvisation and notation into a personal synthesis of those traditions with 20th-century European art music as defined by Schoenberg, Stockhausen, Xenakis, Varese and others. Loren MazzaCane Connors Loren MazzaCane Connors was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1949. Best known as a composer and improviser, Connors has performed across the United States (including Alaska), Ireland, England and Sweden. He has performed with Keiji Haino, Alan Licht, Jim O'Rourke, Chan Marshall, Darin Gray, Rafael Toral, John Fahey, Thurston Moore, Henry Kaiser, Dean Roberts and numerous others. There are over 50 records of Connors' on his own imprints and on over two dozen other labels: Road Cone, Table of the Elements, Union Pole, P-Vine, Halana, Ecstatic Peace!, Father Yod, Drag City, Dexter's Cigar, The Lotus Sound, OO Disc, Hat Noir, Secretly Canadian, Family Vineyard, Megalon, Menlo Park, Persona non grata, Forced Exposure, Gyttya, Drunken Fish and more. GINO ROBAIR Gino Robair lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has studied percussion with Ron George and AMM drummer Eddie Prevost, composition with Lou Harrison and Barney Childs, and earned two masters degrees (electronic music and composition) from Mills College, Oakland. He has performed and recorded in duo and in larger group with Anthony Braxton. He works regularly with his Splatter Trio and as a soloist, and has also performed with Otomo Yoshihide, the ROVA saxophone quartet and Paul Plimley. TAKU SUGIMOTO Taku Sugimoto was born in Tokyo on December 20, 1965. He started playing guitar as a high school student, first playing rock and blues, and then becoming interested in free jazz, European free improvised music, and avant-garde classical music. Initially playing with a loud, heavy style, Sugimoto has since blossomed into the main architect of the Tokyo scene's current exploration of extremely quiet playing full of silences, which he has established through solo and other projects as his own unique style. He has for three years co-hosted with Tetuzi Akiyama and Toshimaru Nakamura a monthly series of improvised concerts and recently began hosting a series of composed music concerts, premiering works by himself, Brett Larner, Furuta Mari, Otomo Yoshihide and others. He is very active outside Japan, regularly collaborating with musicians including Kevin Drumm, Annette Krebs, Gunter Muller, and Keith Rowe.